Priestly Celibacy: A Self-Inflicted Wound

Should the Catholic priesthood be restricted to single, celibate men? Do clergy restrictions based on gender, marital status or sexual … Continued

Should the Catholic priesthood be restricted to single, celibate men? Do clergy restrictions based on gender, marital status or sexual orientation make sense these days?

As an atheist and an ex-Catholic, I cannot claim to be displeased at the spectacle of the Roman Catholic Church continuing to shoot itself in the foot by refusing to ordain women or to allow priests to marry. If I cared about the survival of the Catholic Church, however, I would have to say that the severe priest shortage would end tomorrow if the church simply allowed its preachers to have a normal family and sexual life. But Palestinians and Israelis are going to embrace one another in a joint ceremony at the Wailing Wall and the Dome of the Rock before the rigid old men who run the Vatican open up the doors of the priesthood to people who want to serve their god and enter into the full experience of loving and being loved by another human being.

The vast majority of American Catholics see no need for priestly celibacy and support the ordination of women. Father Alberto Cutie, the appropriately named Miami priest and television star who was caught embracing an adult female companion on the beach, has received strong support from many of his parishioners and fans. He has said that he loves the women in question and would like to marry her and remain a priest. Fat chance. (I must confess that Cutie does not have the same meaning in Spanish as in English, but I couldn’t resist.)

Pope Benedict XVI will not change his position on female priests or on priestly celibacy. One of the most ridiculous rationales for priestly celibacy used by the church has always been the notion that the celibacy requirement is not just about sex but about the need for a priest to be fully free to devote himself to the spiritual needs of his parishioners. The notion that a priest somehow becomes better attuned to the needs of his or her flock by forgoing intimate human love is so illogical that it needs no further comment. It may even be more illogical than the rationale for not admitting women to the priesthood, which rests on the biblical depiction of the twelve apostles as men. (By that logic, all priests should be Jews because the biblical Jesus and the Apostles were Jews.)

The priest shortage in the United States and western Europe began to develop in the late 1960s, when many young priests–who had once hoped that the Second Vatican Council would drop the requirement of priestly celibacy–began to realize that the successor to the great-hearted Pope John XXIII was not open to any fundamental change. Large numbers of heterosexual men left the priesthood at that time because they were no longer willing to give up the love of a woman for their priestly vocation.

This church, with no room in its priesthood for women or for men who simply wanted to love and live with another adult, then proceeded to turn a blind eye to the pedophile predators whose evil deeds were covered up by the hierarchy for decades.

The Rev. Donald Cozzens a celibate priest and professor of religious studies at John Carroll University in Ohio, says, “I’ve asked dozens of men here that showed signs of deep faith if they had thought about going into the priesthood. They all said, ‘I’ve thought of it, but I want to have a family.'” You can be sure that Father Cozzens, the author of Freeing Celibacy, will not be promoted to monsignor or bishop any time soon.

Really, who cares about this other than the old men in the Vatican who want all younger priests to lead the same repressed, rigid, and lonely lives as their elders? In the U.S., an astonishing 25 percent of those raised as Catholics have left the church. Priestly celibacy, like the church’s position on birth control and female priests, is part of the mix that has led so many once-loyal Catholics out of the church. As an atheist, I am pleased by news of the rising dropout rate. If I were the pope, I would be really, really worried. Oh wait. Even if I weren’t an athiest, I couldn’t become pope because I am a woman.

LAST WEEK IN REVIEW

I was extremely pleased to read your discussion of Primo Levi. (Thank you, DOUG_WHITE AND FARNAZ1MANSOURI1.)This is precisely the sort of conversation that the blog was intended to facilitate. I consider Levi’s writings the most important works written by a Holocaust survivor and would rate them near the top of any list of books about the nature of good, evil, and the intermediate “gray zone” (his phrase from The Drowned And The Saved, the last work he completed before his death) One of Levi’s great virtues as a thinker and an observer is his rational approach to the irrational. He never backs away from what the Holocaust tells us about the most extreme evil possibilities of human nature in general–not merely the specific nature of Germans and those who aided them in their infernal efforts. Here is what he said in the conclusion of his last book:

“More often and more insistently as that time recedes, we are asked by the young who our ‘torturers’ were, of what cloth they were made. The term torturersalludes to our ex-guardians, the SS, and is in my opinion inappropriate: it brings to mind twisted individuals, ill-born, sadists, afflicted by an original flaw. Instead, they were made of the same cloth as we, they were average human beings, averagely intelligent, averagely wicked: save the exceptions, they were not monsters, they had our faces, but they had been reared badly.” What a world of thought there is for us today in that clause, “…but they had been reared badly.” I highly recommend all of Levi’s books to you. They have all been published in English.

By the way, it is by no means certain that Levi’s death was a suicide. Many of his closest friends don’t believe it. For one thing, Levi was a professional chemist who could have obtained easy access to a more certain way of suicide than throwing himself down the stairs. One reason why the media jumped to premature conclusions on this matter was that such conclusions fitted one stereotype often applied to camp survivors–that they could not help but be permanently warped by what they had seen and endured. For the best, fair-minded summary of all the available evidence on this, read “Primo Levi’s Last Moments,” by Diego Gambetta, published in the Boston Review, April-May 2004. It’s available online, http://bostonreview.net/BR24.3/gambetta.html.

I know one thing after reading Levi: he would have detested any attempt, based on the manner of his death, to make psychological generalizations about Holocaust survivors.
Elie Wiesel’s comment that Levi “died at Auschwitz 40 years later” is emotionally understandable, but I don’t think it’s true–whether Levi committed suicide or not. Had the spirit and mind of this man died at Auschwitz, his books would not have been written.
One point Levi makes frequently is that the memory of Holocaust survivors is as malleable and imperfect as the memories of all human beings. Many survivors, Levi notes, have reinterpreted their personal memories and melded them with what other survivors have written over the years. The idea that Holocaust survivors must be emotionally and psychologically crippled became extremely widespread in the 1980s; it was often propounded by psychologists who had treated Holocaust survivors for depression. But it certainly doesn’t tell us anything about survivors as a group.

Most of you did a great job last week of ignoring off-point comments. Keep it up.

Susan Jacoby
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  • WmarkW

    Women Catholic priests?Everyone knows women can’t turn bread into 2,000 year old Jews.

  • Nevermore531

    I posted the following on Susan’s last blog and feel compelled to get my foot in the door, before this one falls prey to sad individuals as well:”OK, fellow posters! I think the time has come to take action!Norrie, Moderate, Pagan Friends, Persiflage, Justillthen, Walter-in-FallsChurch, CouterWW, etc., come and help save what is left of Susan’s blog. This used to be a great place to discuss and share ideas. Not any more!No, CCNL, you are not invited! You have done all the damage you can do!For crying out loud! Don’t just desert a great blog because there are some who are intent on distroying it! Ignore the nincompoops and only respond to those who would would like to have a discussion with!Come on, together reasonable people can do it!!!

  • Arminius2

    OK, folks, here’s my take on the subject.First, celibacy should be optional. Second, the priesthood should be open to all, regardless of sex, married status, or even sexual orientation. I am Episcopal, and that is our stand, and it is working great. Sure, there is a conservative minority withdrawing, but let them leave in peace.

  • Nevermore531

    Susan,”Pope Benedict XVI will not change his position on female priests or on priestly celibacy.”You are absolute right as far as Benedict is concerned.As far as Doug_White and Farnaz are concerned, you are out in left field with not ball to catch! May I point your attention to the following which is also a Doug_White comment:”The only necessary response to Arminius The Tatooed Lady:Whatever discussion Doug and Farnaz had on your previous essay regarding Levi may have cought your attention and admiration, but I would like to suggest to you that many worthwhile posters have abandoned your blog because of the aforemention vitriol that is a hallmark of Doug_White.Although Farnaz refrains from insulting others with foul language, she can be very dominant and downright degrading when the discussion turns to Jews and Jewish history, ancient, not so ancient and modern.That said, we will see how this blog turns out! I wish you the best of luck, Susan, simply because I sympathize with your views, but also because I hope that posters who have abandoned this site will return. One sided discussions between 2 or 3 people are not really what this blog is all about, is it???

  • wiccan

    Merry Meet, Gaby, and count me in! You and Arminius are good company, so I will put away my mourning and join you. I have learned so much on this blog, and met some great people too. Ms. Susan hosts the best blog on this site, and it must not fail. So let the bunnies hop and the spiders crawl; we shall pay them no mind.I do wish my dear atheists would come back. Even if I didn’t agree with them, Mr. Mark, Chris Everett, and Efav could be counted on for thought-provoking posts.

  • Arminius2

    Wiccan!As we say in the South, YEEE-HAH! Great that you are here.I will be in and out for a while – I have a religious ceremony to attend – Baseball!

  • wiccan

    Arminius! Go and Blessed Be! The Gods of Baseball will not wait.

  • wiccan

    Now, to post on topic. Didn’t the celibacy rule in the Catholic Church come about to keep the wealth of the Church in the Church, instead of it going to human heirs?

  • Arminius2

    Wiccan,Between innings. The celibacy thing arose sometime in the 11th century or so, probably for the reason you suggest. Also about that time, marriage, previously ignored, became a required sacrament because the church discovered it was a cash cow.

  • wiccan

    God is good, God is great, but the dollar is Almighty. Do you remember “The Shoes of the Fisherman”?Wasn’t Saint Peter married?

  • Arminius2

    Wiccan, St Pete was definitely married. So were other bishops of Rome – er, popes. Not to mention mistresses.

  • wiccan

    Yes, I remember the Borgias. Do you know if, in the Church’s current incarnation, a married man can become a priest?

  • Arminius2

    I believe a married man can become a RC priest, but I am willing to be corrected if wrong.

  • Nevermore531

    Wiccan:Merry Met! I am so very glad you are here! Thank you!Yes, Mr. Mark, Efav, and Chris Everett! I tried to remember the names of many but they were drowned out by the recent posters!I am looking forward to having OODLES of old and new posters joining the fray!!!!Namaste, my Friend!Gaby

  • wiccan

    We need Ryan Harber (another that I miss).

  • Nevermore531

    Armius and Wiccan, You are absolutely correct that the celibacy thing didn’t come about until around the 10th or 11th century for the very reasons you mentioned.The Bishop of Rome did want is all, dollars that is….Hehehe!!!The RC Church has much to atone for. They prostituted themselves for the almighty power and buck and have since not strayed from that path since midevil times.

  • wiccan

    Namaste and Blessed Be, my dear. So, the early Church had married men and even women as leaders. Why did this change, and why is it so important to preserve the status quo?

  • Nevermore531

    Yup Wiccan, grab him by the scruff of his neck and drag him in here!!!!

  • Nevermore531

    You know, I was brought up Lutheran more or less. Thankfully my parents never indoctrinated us kids and we were able to make up our own minds. Glory be!Nonetheless, in my day, when you went to school and were registered either as Catholic or Protestant, you were forced by law to take in religious class twice a week. I had a heyday questioning everything I heard. I remember the text books and compared them with my best friend Helga’s Cathechism….Ah, the fun we had drawing comparissons….

  • Nevermore531

    Wiccan:I am not sure about women leaders, but priests were definitely allowed to marry. As far as I know it changed because a vast number of priests did not divert the tithes, etal. to the Vatican. Therefore, “the Church”, was losing money. In order to rectify the situation they declared that Christ’s followers were unattached males and therefore the priesthood henceforth shall not be married.Of course, that left the little conclave of having not only one, but multiple concubines with even more children to which the money could be diverted.The only alternative was to declare that priets (and nuns) had to be celibate. Easy, no? No more wives, no more concubines, no more children….all the money could be sent to Rome!

  • Nevermore531

    It never ceases to amaze me that Catholic priests (the chaste and celibate) counsel couples on marital affairs. Where are they coming from? What is their experience to do so? Education from the seminary???

  • Arminius2

    I miss Ryan Haber too. A totally civilized and honorable man.Had a streaker on the baseball field, wearing only a sign that said, ‘Go Mets!’. ain’t baseball great? But my Braves are leading 1-0 in the 6th, and last night delivered a big can of Whup-A** to the Mets, winning 8-3.

  • Nevermore531

    WMARKW:We may not be able to turn bread into 2,000 year old Jews, but we can certainly bake the stuff and make you believe they are 2.000 year old Jews.

  • Arminius2

    Indeed, Nevermore. How the hell a person totally unacquainted with intimacy can have the temerity to give real advice to married people – that completely stumps me. A married couple does not need commandments and bible verses. Maybe some of these priests can manage, but I would surmise that they are very few.

  • Nevermore531

    Follow your religion, Arminius!!! LOL!

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    Nevermore531,

  • Nevermore531

    Welcome Walter!So speak your mind in regards to the celibacy of the the RC! Don’t hold anything back now, you hear?!?!?! LOL

  • Arminius2

    Walter,I, too, am glad you are here.

  • Nevermore531

    Shoot, I forgot Mary_Cunnigham…that little Brit with a big mouth!Loved her posts no matter what!

  • Nevermore531

    Ok, had a couple of beers, and now this place reminds me of that movie Poltergeist where the little lady says to the ghosts….”Come, come, follow the light!” and then proudly proclaims “This house is clean!!!”.But was it????

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    well, thanks guys, but i really have nothing inspired to say about celibacy and the catholic church other than to say they’re both bad ideas…

  • Arminius2

    No problem, Walter. But keep tuned in from time to time please.

  • wiccan

    Doug White writes:”Yes, a married man can become a priest, provided his wife has been cooperative enough to die before he enters seminary.”PR Chris writes:”As to whether priests can marry in the Western (ie, Roman Catholic) Catholic church, the general answer is “no.” A few men who were formerly Episcopal or Lutheran Clergy and who have families have been received in the Roman Catholic Priesthood. The number is probably not more than a hundred or so, total. Coincidently (?), this permission was granted at the time both Episcopal and Lutheran Churches began ordaining women, and most of the male clergy who sought to enter the RCC were not happy.”Wonder if these men who have families had to be a widower or divorced? Probably not divorced; wouldn’t that open a whole new can of worms?(If a woman is good enough to cook your food, clean your house, and share your bed, why isn’t she good enough to give you the Sacraments? Service is sevice.)

  • wiccan

    Actually, service is service.:-p

  • Nevermore531

    Susan said:” The notion that a priest somehow becomes better attuned to the needs of his or her flock by forgoing intimate human love is so illogical that it needs no further comment. It may even be more illogical than the rationale for not admitting women to the priesthood, which rests on the biblical depiction of the twelve apostles as men”How on earth can you become better attuned to your flock by not having any clue about what the “flock” is all about.If I need marital counseling, wouldn’t it be logical to hear it from someone who is also married and maybe undergoes some of the same challenges? If I need counseling in regards to children, wouldn’t it be logical to have someone provide it who also has children and understands that parental insecurities challenges are part of parenting?How can an unmarried, supposedly celibate priest even think of addressing some of those issues?In my humble opinion, they can only speak to those issues in a very abstract way, not reality! It’s like a husband saying to a wife during childbirth “I feel your pain!” Horsefeathers! He has no bloody idea! He may sympathize, but trust you me he has no clue.I realize that you can argue that psychologists, drug and alcohol counselers, doctors, etc., have not experienced the patients woes and that they are still able to help in some instances. That maybe so, but at the same time, their specialities are academic, not spiritual. So here is a question for the RCC crowd, do your priests have formal training in counseling, i.e., drug abuse, marital abuse, depression, childhood problems, etc., or is it all about the “word” of the Bible and its interpretation by the head clergy?Is it “Pray a few Hail Marys and a few rosaries” and all will be well?

  • Nevermore531

    Ah, I see some are already spreading their filth again to fellow poster.Just remember Doug_White, what goes around comes around!

  • Arminius2

    Hi, Wiccan,Indeed, Godwin’s Law should be obeyed. It was broken here by a direct and unprovoked attack on Gaby by a wolf in sheep’s clothing. ‘Nuff said.

  • wiccan

    Hi, Arminius! Tis my position that invoking the Nazis when they weren’t the topic shows a poverty of thought. Gaby should have hit him the the Three-fold Law!

  • wiccan

    Gaby:By the Lady, how I laughed at that! I was in NY visiting my sister, and one of the science shows had a device on that let a human control the movements of a cat (I think). The first thing Sis said was “I wonder if they could put that thing in the delivery room?”.A friend’s mother told me that giving birth was like trying to “pass” a watermelon. Didn’t believe her until it happened to me, and she was right!

  • wiccan

    To get back on topic, I wish someone of the Catholic persuasion would tell me what benefit celibacy gives to the Church, besides being the tradition. Priestly celibacy seems to me to be akin to women wearing the burka; not a true and free choice.

  • Doug_White

    Nevermore The Neo Nazi blathers:“How on earth can you become better attuned to your flock by not having any clue about what the “flock” is all about.”[snipping the rest of this drone]The simple matter of fact is that none of this is any of your business. You are not a member of the RCC – it is no concern of yours.The RCC is not a democracy. Neither is the Bank of America. Both organizations have a hierarchy of professionals who make the rules by which the organization operates. If you are willing to forego birthcontrol, support celibacy, confess and go to mass twice a year at the minimum, you can join the RCC – precisely because you agree to the rules of the road. Similarly, if you agree to management’s rules about fees for NSF checks, minimum monthly balances, and so forth, you can become a client of the Bank of America. Membership in both organizations does NOT come with the democratic right to vote to abolish what you don’t like. If you don’t like, become a Lutherant or a customer of Chase Manhattan.This was not a good essay question. A better one would have been “Is it hypocritical for christers to opt for celibacy?”

  • Arminius2

    Wiccan,The only defense of celibacy that, IMHO, held any water, was that a RC priest belongs to the whole parish, not to a family. That has some merit, but I don’t think it really holds water. Episcopal priests, both men and women, do belong to the parish, as well as to their family. I think I would have a great deal of trouble even talking to a celibate priest beyond just polite conversation.

  • Arminius2

    “The simple matter of fact is that none of this is any of your business. You are not a member of the RCC – it is no concern of yours.”According to this logic, I suppose I should not be bothered with the Taliban flogging women for minor offenses, since I am not an extremist Muslim. No concern of mine…..

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Although not Catholic, I have to repeat what I said last week on David Waters thread and now, elsewhere,This is no concern of anyone other than the Catholics. It is not a matter of religion and public affairs, but of denominational choices.Put another way, why should this concern nonCatholics? Why should other Christians, indeed, anyone, feel free to judge them on this matter?If Catholics want the opinions of Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Pagans, et al, I would imagine they will ask.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    The celibacy of Catholic clergy and the flogging of women by Taliban are not the equivalent.

  • Doug_White

    Arminius The Tattooed Lady wrote:”According to this logic, I suppose I should not be bothered with the Taliban flogging women for minor offenses, since I am not an extremist Muslim. No concern of mine….”Have another drink, Mini. You make more sense when you are drunk.Human rights abuses are not the same as objecting to a religious point of view adopted by a non-human-rights-abusing denomination of which you are not a member, and whose points of view damage neither you nor anyone else.Or is your sizzling limbic mind too alcohol-atrophied to grasp that point?

  • Doug_White

    Good evening, Farnaz.”The celibacy of Catholic clergy and the flogging of women by Taliban are not the equivalent.”Indeed.One chooses to be celibate. I’ve never met a flogged woman who chose that fate.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Hello Doug,”I’ve never met a flogged woman who chose that fate.”Yes, it is a false analogy. Frankly, I find some of the questions posed on this blog inappropriate.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    This blog is supposed to be dedicated to issues concerning religion and public affairs.This question, as far as I can see, should be of concern and interest only to Catholics.

  • Arminius2

    “Frankly, I find some of the questions posed on this blog inappropriate.”Frankly, I find calling someone a neo-nazi inappropriate. Apparently that is OK with you, considering the source.It could be argued that celibacy attracts a greater percentage of pedophiles to the priesthood. So I suppose the ensuing violation of children has nothing to do with civil rights.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    “It could be argued that celibacy attracts a greater percentage of pedophiles to the priesthood”It has been argued. However, that is beside the point. The question does not concern pedophilia within the Catholic clergy, which most certainly is a matter of public concern.Even there, questions linger. Is there, for instance, a greater incidence of pedophilia among Catholic clergy than among other segments of the population?After years of caving to the Vatican, prosecuters are finally going after pedophile priests. This sells newspapers, etc.

  • Doug_White

    What do you think, Farnaz? Is it hypocritical for jews and christers to opt for celibacy?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Doug,Re: Christians, Jews and celibacy,Quietism of any sort is inconsistent with any form of Judaism. There are gay Jewish clergy. I don’t know of any rabbi, male or female, gay or straight, who has declared himself or herself celibate. Not now, not ever.I honestly don’t feel comfortable discussing choices the Catholics make, effecting them alone. You are far more knowledgeable about Christianity than I.

  • Doug_White

    Arminius The Tatooed Lady wrote:”Frankly, I find calling someone a neo-nazi inappropriate.”Frankly, I find any German national, who advocates castration of her opponents with a rusty knife — nazis were big on castration — to be worthy of the title Neo-Nazi.

  • Doug_White

    Farnaz:Celibacy, as it was defined until recently, meant a chosen state of un-marriedness. Now it seems to include the self-denial of sexual activity.As I understand it, both jews and christers regard the old testament as the revealed word of god. I also understand both cults advocate for marriage as a state instituted by god himself.If I recall correctly, one of the first (if not the first) commandment that god issued to his new creation was to “be fruitful and multiply”. He didn’t add “if you feel like it and you are not a priest.” Therefore I would conclude that it was divine intention that every single human, physically capable of reproducing hirself, was expected to do so. If marriage is a divine estate, then one would expect that marriage would have, as one of its prime purposes, reproduction.I think that if these things are true, it follows inexorably that any jew or christer who consciously decides not to reproduce is standing in deliberate defiance of a command from god. Which begs the question: could such people be taken seriously as representatives of god?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Doug,However, I know that, at least, male Catholic clergy were not always celibate….

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Part IIThis is not Nevermore’s doing, but it happened. It affected not only those sought out by the EuroChristian racist murderers, but their children, their children’s children, etc. The generations. All of us. Remember, WWII was a worldwide phenomena, effected not only Europe, but the Middle East, Africa.Judaism does not hold responsible the children of murderers nor the innocent among the murdering nations. Nor do I.But guilt is guilt. One cannot blame others for the guilt one personally experiences, rightly or wrongly. ONe cannot blame those whose existence reminds one that her native country commited a horrible crime for which it will be remembered until time, itself, ends. When one singles out those unintentionally “reminding” others one does them them double injury.In the interim, if this authentic folie a deux, this battle of two against the known and sane world, were to stop, the thread might pick up again. In the interim, since they have one another’s email addresses, they might do us all a favor and use them to complain about everyone else, might save their more substantive comments for this thread. Complaining, w(h)ining is fine, if not carried to excess, and if not imposed upon those undesirous of listening.Farnaz Mansouri

  • wiccan

    Doug,The purpose of this site is to promote understanding of the different religions. If you want to learn, you have to ask. “Nunya” just gives you one piece of information.Sex is sacred to Wiccans; our “Great Rite” is a simulated act of procreation. Being celibate to honor God just doesn’t make sense to me; I’m coming from a different point of view, so I ask questions to understand.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Doug,Addendum: Neither Judaism nor Christianity, regardless of denominations, adheres literally to the NT or the Tanakh.How could they? Neither text mentions episcopacy, rabbis, etc. Judaism is rabbinic Judaism. While the Tanakh is inernally interpretive, stratified, etc., is the core text, Jews look first to the Talmud, then to centuries of interpretations of interpretations, etc.The Catholics (and the Protestants) had and have the Church fathers, the patriarchs, centuries of interpretations, etc.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Here is the problem and sorry for being so direct, but there’s nothing for it. Two bloggers, who, quite simply, are and have been more wronging than wronged have set up house in a trench sniping at passers-by, the only battle here in their war-weary minds.Both are angry, but their anger has nought to do with this thread or with those who blog on it. They set up house or trench, post whiny/complaining missives, bemoaning their (non)victimization, and vengefully, trample or burn every olive branch held out to them.In the case of one, he wishes to believe there is a resurrected God, cannot distinguish between “spirituality” and his own religious system, is threatened, indeed. has been angered greatly at knowing that much recorded in the NT has been tossed, including, and most especially the “trial,” of which much has been posted and written on this blog. Even CCNL knows it could not have happened. That Jews of the period were interested not in the many prophets, proclaiming themselves this and that, but in the codification, interpretation, of the Tanakh via the Tanaim is simple and well established fact, supported by numerous indepedent documents.Links have been offered to this blogger, who refused to look at them, screaming at the mention.He fails to recognize that none are concerned with what he does or doesn’t believe, but that in asserting his beliefs, he dismisses the heritage of others, the harm certain misguided assumptions have wrought, not to mention facts and truth.If his beliefs rest on such slight foundations, that, methinks, is his problem, and his alone. It does not warrant assaults on other bloggers. If when bigots post on this thread, he does not call them on it, while others do, and then identifies with those bigots, he should examine his OWN behavior.Self-examination is a long-held requirement of Protestantism. Indeed, Protestantism, arose in the context of a reconceptualization of “self.” NB.As for the other, Germany committed crimes against humanity that did not begin with WWII. Its xenophobia with respect to its minorities had a long, long history. The Holocaust was an outcome, in part, of that.Continues below

  • Arminius2

    Wiccan,Well, I do learn something every day. Nunya – useful word, that!Indeed, we are here to learn. If it is not proper to be concerned at all with discussing celibacy because it is a ‘religious matter’, then why is the person who said this on this thread at all?

  • Doug_White

    Wiccan wrote:”The purpose of this site is to promote understanding of the different religions.”Is it? My understanding is that it is a site to discuss the interrelationship of religion and politics. “Being celibate to honor God just doesn’t make sense to me; I’m coming from a different point of view, so I ask questions to understand.”And I agree — it makes no sense to me either. But I am not a christer, much less a member of the RCC, so whether the “gift” of celibacy makes sense in any religious point of view is not something I can feel justified in criticizing a priest for.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    I posted the two-part comment on Susan’s previous thread. A glance at the current comments indicates its still timely.Thank you very, very much for the link. I went to the site, bookmarked it, and will watch it later this afternoone, when Zen-like state will be absent, but much needed by me!!You mentioned you found the Poles “VERY skittish.” Would like to know more on this. Have met many Polish emigres. Know the economy is weak. Many have been leaving since Poland joined the EU. Those I’ve met have been disappointed in developements of the last twenty years, or so. Cultural upheaval, etc.Speaking (or not) of Tolkien, have you read his essay on “Beowulf”?

  • Arminius2

    It is my understanding that the name of this site is ‘On Faith’, NOT ‘On Faith and Politics’. Further, and more to the point, I don’t recall Susan Jacoby talking politics in her current essay.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Tous les Personnages?:-)

  • Doug_White

    Farnaz:”However, I know that, at least, male Catholic clergy were not always celibate….”Ha!!! A large number of them are not straight, either! I learned a lot from the Jesuits at Holy Cross in four years! The only guilt-free gay catholics I’ve ever known.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Quinn’s description of the blog specifically states that it focuses on “religion and politics.” Available for all to read.And, frankly, I find this sense of entitlement about judging other people’s religions quite presumptuous. Matters of fact are a different story, altogether.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Last on this: I have given my view that this question is inappropriate, at best. Obviously, this is just my perspective, nothing more!

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Btw., while Quinn writes that the site is devoted to “religion and politics,” Susan Jacoby has used the more dignified phrase, “public affairs.”There is a distinction, and, I for one, would prefer it focus on the latter.

  • Doug_White

    Farnaz wrote:”Last on this: I have given my view that this question is inappropriate, at best. Obviously, this is just my perspective, nothing more!”And I agree completely. So pick another question. How about “What was Spinoza’s influence on the rise of western liberalism?”

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Okay. Spinoza. Shoot. Also, Spinoza and Christianity, of which, again, you undoubtedly know more than I.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Susan Jacoby,Thanks very much for your comments on Levi.Also, many of the letters do suggest profound depression in the months preceeding his death. There is just as much evidence to suggest suicide as accident, IMO, and I would much have preferred believing the latter.Part of the problem is that the different ways we have of “interpreting” Levi’s death are socio-culturally determined. I strongly doubted the suicide hypothesis, did not wish to believe it, and do not wish to now. Nevertheless, I think it a distinctly possible.For the last few years, the irreparable harm hypothesis, whether due to torture, rape (also torture), etc., has been come under scrutiny, and comme d’habitude with hypotheses. Americans and others are tossing the babies with the bath water. (Hence, Levi did not commit suicide.) American intellectual history takes awhile to come up with reconcilation hypotheses, regardless of topic/issue. Or, maybe, it’s all Hegelian. :-0Levi’s great fear was not that his or all Holocaust narratives would meld, but that his would succumb to (traditional) “Narrative,” plot, etc. He solved the problem (NB: artistically)with “If This is a Man.”

  • Doug_White

    “If it is not proper to be concerned at all with discussing celibacy because it is a ‘religious matter’, then why is the person who said this on this thread at all?”Because there is no other place we can go and enjoy the spectacle of you being yourself.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Agreed! Spinoza could certainly keep us busy for a week! As you know, little has been recorded of his wife, but, somewhere, I read that she was, well, mystically inclined!

  • Arminius2

    Doug_White,I stand corrected – Religion and Politics. I thank you.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Truthfully, I long for a discussion of Buddhism. You and Persiflage could tell us about that. In the past, Persiflage posted a great deal on Buddhism.

  • Nevermore531

    “Put another way, why should this concern nonCatholics? Why should other Christians, indeed, anyone, feel free to judge them on this matter?The point is that Catholics marry non-Catholics, and then expect that their non-Catholic spouses agree with their somewhat misguided philosophy. So yes, non-Catholics have every right to opine one the RCC misguided dogma.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Susan,On Levi: Don’t mean to suggest that if he committed suicide, the sole cause was Auschwitz. He was depressed about many things at the time, had life-long bouts with depression, following Auscwitz. Commented, and will quote later if can find source, on difference between his personna and person.As great a need to believe he didn’t commit suicide as to believe he did. Great need to see him as even-tempered, generous Rational Man.Yet, “Letters to Germans,” personal correspndance suggests otherwise. He was scathed, incredulous at humanity, incapable of accepting simple solutions, redemptive or otherwise.If this is a Man…Indeed, he was, in a sense, is.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Susan,Should have written “Letters FROM Germans.”

  • Nevermore531

    “Frankly, I find any German national, who advocates castration of her opponents with a rusty knife — nazis were big on castration — to be worthy of the title Neo-Nazi.”I guess it is OK for any other nations to use torture, murder, mutiliation, extreme violence to women and children, etc., and get away with it. But god forgive a German national speaks her mind!

  • Doug_White

    “Persiflage posted a great deal on Buddhism.”I would enjoy reading what he has to say. I’ve only been into zen for 3+ years, so I’m still very much a novice. And I’m not having a lot of luck with koans. I’m told it will come in time.

  • Doug_White

    “But god forgive a German national speaks her mind!”To the contrary, I think you should speak your “mind” at every opportunity. That keeps us informed on what you really are.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Doug,You surely know more than I do. I’m still struggling with “pre-beginner’s mind”!What variety of Buddhism are you studying?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Ah, you said “zen Buddhism.”

  • Doug_White

    Farnaz:Zen.

  • Doug_White

    Wiccan:You said that your principal “rite” is an act simulating procreation.Does this mean that the Wiccan religion is practiced primarily/solely by heterosexuals?

  • Arminius2

    “To the contrary, I think you should speak your “mind” at every opportunity. That keeps us informed on what you really are.”Textbook case of the pot calling the kettle black.Could you please end this pointless hypocrisy now and get back to the topic?

  • Nevermore531

    Dear Susan,Can you NOW see what is going on here????Doug_White is forever maligning everyone and anyone, with Farnaz right in his corner.I can handle only so much garbage from the two of them. So here is my question, would you rather have these two on your blog talking to each other, or would you rather have a number of people with differing opinions post here.To be frank, I am sick to my stomach of both of them.However, if you would like your blog to be a onesided conversation, say the word and this “Neo-Nazi” will happily bow out!

  • Doug_White

    Farnaz:”Whom have you read? Do you have a teacher?”I’d have to go downstairs and look at all my books to answer the first part of the question…the authors all have such foreign names that I never try to remember them.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Doug White writes to Wiccan:”Does this mean that the Wiccan religion is practiced primarily/solely by heterosexuals?”Now, that is an on-the-mark question. And from what I understand, the answer is NO. Wicca endorses all loving relations, very much including LGBT. I, too, would like to hear from Wiccan on this.

  • Doug_White

    Mini wrote:”Could you please end this pointless hypocrisy now and get back to the topic?”From where I stand, the topic is completely exhausted. However, if you want to post on topic, or on anything, nobody is standing in your way. Aren’t you getting enough attention?

  • Arminius2

    I’m with you, Nevermore. Apparently calling someone a nazi is ok here. Unless, of course, you or I do that…..

  • Doug_White

    Well Mini and the Neo-Nazi have had 22 minutes of uninterrupted bandwith in which to post SOMETHING on topic…which seems to be their principal complaint.As expected, nothing.It is a tale told by an idiot.

  • Doug_White

    Wiccan wrote:”Yes, I remember the Borgias. Do you know if, in the Church’s current incarnation, a married man can become a priest?”Yes, a married man can become a priest, provided his wife has been cooperative enough to die before he enters seminary.

  • Nevermore531

    Stadtbear “Kleiner Pimmel” White and your beloved Farnaz:Susan asked specifically to post on topic, so have at it and stay there!As far as the sex live of Wiccans/Pagans is concerned, it is NONE of your business and how dare you even ask that question. You may delight in calling me names and that is your prerogative. In America we do have free speech. As far as I am concerned you are nothing more than a pitiful excuse for a human being.So why don’t you two and ONO find a nice corner away from the limelight and have a threesome!

  • Nevermore531

    One more thought for you Schweinepriester White and cohort.Arminius, Wiccan, etal., have more class in their little finger than you will ever gain throughout you body in your lifetime.Best regards from the Neo-Nazi!

  • Nevermore531

    “I’d have to go downstairs and look at all my books to answer the first part of the question…the authors all have such foreign names that I never try to remember them.LIAR, what you really are going to do is browse the internet, most likely Wikipedia, to find some stuff that you can plagiarize and call it your own.I know Bhuddism, and people as vile as you would never be a Bhuddist. You will be reincarnated as a nightcrawler, if you can even make it that far up the food chain. Nah, I think aglae is more likely.

  • Arminius2

    Oh good Lord! Stadtbear “Kleiner Pimmel” White! I’m still laughing!Please see my email offline.

  • Arminius2

    Nevermore,A true Lady you are, and that is with a capital ‘L’. You are a model of dignity and morality, as opposed to Kliner Pimmel, whose only desire is to foment discord. He hides in the darkness and backstabs, while you stand in the light, armored by your courage. You have my respect.

  • CalSailor

    There are a few of the “uniate” churches, mostly in Eastern Europe, and which have generally some practices that are more Orthodox than Catholic but which are part of the larger Roman Catholic communion, which allow married priests, provided they married before ordination. If widowers, they then cannot remarry and remain priests. Religious priests (what we think as religious order priests, ie, Dominicans, etc) cannot marry in these uniate churches.As to whether priests can marry in the Western (ie, Roman Catholic) Catholic church, the general answer is “no.” A few men who were formerly Episcopal or Lutheran Clergy and who have families have been received in the Roman Catholic Priesthood. The number is probably not more than a hundred or so, total. Coincidently (?), this permission was granted at the time both Episcopal and Lutheran Churches began ordaining women, and most of the male clergy who sought to enter the RCC were not happy. Pr Chris

  • Nevermore531

    Cool cop-out Walter!I guess you are right though! Arrghhh, now we got the wrath of the RC Church and followers upon us!Better get an exorcist in here!!!

  • eabgarnet

    Not all religious denominations allow their clergy to marry either.

  • Nevermore531

    “Elie Wiesel’s comment that Levi “died at Auschwitz 40 years later” is emotionally understandable, but I don’t think it’s true–whether Levi committed suicide or not. Had the spirit and mind of this man died at Auschwitz, his books would not have been written”You are absolutely correct here Susan.#1: People can carry a lot of baggage after terrible experiences, but it does not compel them to commit suicide. I can guarantee that.#2: People who commit suicide are emotionally unstable to the point where live is not worth living any longer. I can guarantee that as well!#3: I disagree with your statement that people who’s spirit and mind have been broken can no longer function as authors. (That is how you came across to me, sorry if I misinterpreted.) The sad part is that exspecially those people who have been through hell and returned have an uncanny ability to write and relate their experiences. I remember reading Anne Frank’s Diary when I was a pre-teen and the experience of being in that attic with her has never left my mind. Knowing that she did not survive the KZ made me insanely mad and revengeful. But in the end, now that I am old, I realize that she will never die because of what she wrote. She will live forever.OK, I am rambling…time to go to bed.

  • Arminius2

    Nevermore,You amaze me. You put to shame all the other pathetic posters here. I am proud to call you friend.

  • smtsm

    If women can’t be priests because Jesus’ apostles were all men, let’s go a step further. In addition to the “everyone must be Jewish” we must allow priests to marry as well, as most apostles either were married or married later. They all must speak Aramaic. They must all be itinerant, never having a home or settling down. They must all have separate careers – Paul said all disciples had to be self-supporting as they wandered and taught – he was a tentmaker. And how does the Catholic Church explain that celibacy wasn’t mandatory until about 1100-1200 AD? You mean all the apostles and disciplies and bishops and priests and popes up until then were all living in sinful error? How is that possible?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Several eminent writers commited suicide years after the Holocaust, including one Catholic. Lawrence Langer exposed the manipulative nature of survivor interviews in which interviewers did all in their power to coerce survivors to say it was all worth it in light of what they now had, in conformity with the American Comedic Narrative.These interviewers were victims of American optimism, not deliberately trying to deny the experience of the survivors. Fortunately, as a result of extensive work of Langer and those who followed him, strict guidelines were set up for interviewing survivors. In subsequent interviews, many spoke of having “died in the camps.”There was nothing, absolutely nothing, redemptive in the Holocaust. As for Anne Frank, her diary is one piece of testimony. Thousands of narratives have been written, some published before, others later.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    IMO, to imply that those who committed suicide as a result of their internment in concentration camps were “emotionally disturbed” is offensive, to say the least.We cannot judge them.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    A folie a deux is A Deux, not A Trois. Thus far, nine separate postings have been made a deux, all of which would have been better left to private emails.Still, A Deux means A Deux. In the words of the immortal Fish, Sid: “Big fish swim past bait” (31:14).

  • MeatSweats

    Susan, your essays are well written and informative. However, I can’t help but notice that you used to have many more people posting when there weren’t a select few dominating the discussions. It seems like there are some valid points being brought up throughout the thread but they are lost amongst all of the attacking that takes place. Sad

  • ruh_ruh

    I agree with the overall theme of this post, and that it is time for priests to be allowed to marry and raise families, as well as have women priests. However, I wanted to chime in on one small point. I always understood that the rationale for priests to be celibate was not to relate more fully to their parishioners, but so that the priest could more fully dedicate himself to God. I do think a priest who has a family life can more fully relate to his parishioners difficulties, but people also look to their priests as an example of what a life dedicated to faith and prayer is like.

  • smckaho420

    Catholics are no better than those who practice Sharia (Islamic law). Organized religion is bad enough already without some dope with a funny hat telling people what they can and can not do to get into heaven. I mean really…who does the pope think he is? The vast majority of his minons (priest) are guilty of pulling “Micheal Jackson’s” on little boys, and these are the people I am supposed to confess all of my wrong doing to? Get real man.

  • mschwalm44

    The Catholic Church will only allow clergy to marry when same sex marriage is approved around the world. That could be several generations from now. They should dump celibacy sooner to save our young boys from further abuse.

  • greg3

    In Western countries, the problem is not the Church and its demands on the priesthood, it is the profane, culturally Marxist society in which it must operate which morally degenerates the people. Only a young man of truly superior moral character and faith could endure ministering to modern Catholics, who in the majority are a disgrace. Exhibit A: Susan Jacoby. It would be be easier to endure being shot full of arrows than to spend time endlessly dealing with American Catholic’s non-thinking attitude toward faith, moral perfection, and salvation. I do believe the Mother Church will survive, but it is living through dark times, now. And on the horizon is its greatest threat: Islam. The descendants of Susan Jacoby will end up outside the grace of the Church, only to find themselves bowing to Mecca and submitting to Sharia Law, since atheism is a luxury only afforded by free materialistic societies, which all nearly simultaneously coming to an end.My conclusion: Catholicism doesn’t need to reform; Catholics need to repent.

  • matt85237

    You say: “As an atheist and an ex-Catholic, I cannot claim to be displeased at the spectacle of the Roman Catholic Church continuing to shoot itself in the foot..”Could you be shooting yourself in your own foot for not knowing and at least acknowledging the reasons for these restriction in the Church’s practice?Could you acknowledge that glee at the troubles the Church faces has some root in whatever caused you to claim “ex-Catholic” status?You can repair your mistakes. Write a follow up on this. Here’s a start for your research.God bless you.a layman’s essay:a more thorough statement complete with NIHIL OBSTAT & IMPRIMATUR:the Catechism of the Catholic Church

  • MPatalinjug

    Yonkers, New YorkSusan Jacoby must long for the day when Catholic priests will be allowed to marry and women allowed to enter the Catholic priesthood.That, “a consummation devoutly to be wished,” is not going to happen. That is a forlorn hope.I pose this question to Ms Jacoby: Can a zebra or a tiger erase its stripes?That is a good metaphor for how hopeless the yearning or longing of many Catholic priests or Catholic women must be.As with the issue of abortion or the use of artificial means of birth control, the Roman Catholic Church stubborly remains absolutely unyielding.Bishops or cardinals who are still capable of common sense or rationality will need to tell the Pope that celibacy is absolutely biologically unnatural. The primordial drive of Man is to perpetuate the species. Which is why Nature has endowed the Male with the tool he needs to make this possible: TESTOSTERONE!Catholic cardinals, bishops and priests are likewise endowed with testosterone which almost always trumps Catholic doctrine.Because the Catholic Church refuses to change its ways which are in defiance of Nature, hundreds of priests are turning their backs on the priesthood, young men are far from eager to enter the priesthood, and tens of thousands of Catholics are abandoning their Church as completely out of touch with Nature and with Reality.Mariano Patalinjug

  • matt85237

    Susan,Yes indeed our priests do have formal training in counseling, i.e., drug abuse, marital abuse, depression, childhood problems, etc.Check out the course of study for a modern Catholic seminary. Here are two good ones. There are many more.

  • Sajanas

    I can understand about the desire for celibacy in the Catholic Church’s leadership, it means they can have significantly greater control over their priests, and where they’re placed. Having once dated a woman who wished to be a Lutheran pastor, it was disturbing to realize that if we were to have a a future together, her placement in a church could be almost entirely out of her hands, and might not necessarily coincide with my career plans (as researcher, I’d likely need to be near a major city of some sort). While our relationship never progressed to the point where it would have been an issue, and she has since abandoned that goal, I can’t help but wonder if the general difficulty in planning a career as a pastor for yourself and a spouse influenced her later decision to become a teacher instead.Its not to say its not unmanageable, but having priests without attachments makes it much easier to move them around to where you need them, be it big city or tiny hamlet. If you don’t have a family to support, you can pay ’em less too. Such managerial power must be tough to relinquish, once you’re at the top.Of course, one would hope some day that the average priest would realize that they don’t have to be martyrs to serve their church. And they don’t have to now either… I think especially in America there is such a fluidity between denominations, if you want to serve God you can certainly find some other place to do it than in the Catholic Church.

  • chatard

    Meacham and Quinn continue their assault ‘on faith’ by giving column space to witches and atheists cajoling religious people to ‘go modern, ‘go progressive’, ‘straight white males are bad’, ‘Christians are hypocrites’, etcetera, et cetera.

  • bradeells560

    The Catholic Church has essentially become a haven for child molesters, especially in Ireland and the US. The Pope spews idiocy and bile that facilitates unneccessary suffering in the third world by not spreading vital information about condoms and birth control. The Catholic Church cooperated with the Nazis (which, of course it apologized for so it could continue its religious racket), facilitated anti-Semitism itself by initiating Jewish pogroms, and has impeded the march of science and reason for a thousand years. They just barely forgave Galileo! Religion in general, and the Catholic Church need to go. It’s the 21st Century. Time to start using our brains. See the Middle East for the effects of religious fanaticism. And did the first comment actually refer to believing in witches???!!! Wow, the Dark Ages are upon us again.

  • SecularHumanist

    Dear Susan:I was raised as a Southern Baptist, and I was married for 15 years to a Catholic. I often/usually wondered from the age of four until I was 18 or 19 where the Bible came from and why everyone around me believed the things that they professed with regard to Christianity. While I did see a lot of beauty in the world around me, I also saw a lot of misery and ugliness. I could find no evidence of God creating this or that, nor of his answering prayers, regardless of how sincerely, often, and fervently one prayed.As I grew older, I finally came to he realization that God was probably created by man (and/or woman), rather than the other way around. I accompanied my wife to her Catholic church(es) for many years, and I tried to learn something about it. In that effort, I came to the same conclusion about the Catholic god that I did about the Southern Baptist god. Of course, once I got to be of a certain age, perhaps 7, 8, or 9 years old, asking questions about god, and especially questioning whether god really was as described in the Bible and as taught in Sunday School and church was unacceptable. Nevertheless, my skepticism went unanswered, but became reinforced as I approached college age.I led off with that bit of personal history to lead to my response to your question.I do not believe that God is as “revealed” in the Bible – neither the Southern Baptist style (there is no official Baptist “version”) nor in the Catholic version. Nor in the Episcopalian version, the Presbyterian version, nor the Methodist version.My rub with the Catholic Church (and the other Christian denominations) is that they want to force their views upon everyone, and they want to subject ME to living the way that THEY say I should live. They do so subtly, forcefully, politically, economically – in short, in any way they can; and they refuse to show respect or tolerance to anyone who has views different that their church’s. That I highly resent. And that is one reason I love you and your forum. Thank you.

  • onofrio

    Of Christ and priests:Semen will out.

  • outragex

    I basically agree with Ms. Jacoby’s critique of the Catholic policy on celibacy, but she generalizes and oversimplifies the situation in my opinion. For a more detailed critique I recommend James Carroll’s book, PRACTICING CATHOLIC, which I recently stumbled across in my library.Also, while I respect her choice to be an athiest, I would caution her against wishing and hoping that a venerable institution like the RC church will fail In spite of its failings, the Catholic church does many great things and is a blessing to many people. It is not healthy for people of one persuasion (athiest in this case) to be as spiteful as Ms. Jacoby toward the people of another persuasion (Catholic). While we may disagree about faith and church policy a minimum of good will toward one another is a basic courtesy.For the record, I am an active Protestant who appreciates the Catholic Church at its best, while not agreeing with some of its doctrine and tradition.

  • Chaotician

    Speaking of funny hats; why do so many of the “real” religious folks run around in medieval costumes or even older? Do they think this is the only way their “old” God can recognize them? Does having a skull cap, a scarf, a “funny” hat help people to be known as more religious than those who do not? And the Catholic dons have all of that jewelry, it must weigh a ton…and then there are the miters, staffs, candles, incense, and the whole staging process…who thought all that stuff up?? And the magic; making bread into godly flesh to be consumed in some cannibalistic rite, wine into God’s blood for a ghoulish vampire treat…do they really believe this eating and drinking God is a spiritually helpful act? Holy water and baptism, penance and prayer; more magic to get divine help…how odd! And then we have the neo-Christians…the Mormons for example with magic underwear, or the Quakers divine shaking, or the babbling speakers in unintelligible gibberish , or ….. Then we have Jews praying to a wall and the Muslims seeking God in a rock from space; how bizarre can it get??

  • Bluefish2012

    As you say, Ms.Jacoby, you are an ex-Catholic and an atheist. What possible standing do you have to tell an organization that you fundamentally reject how to do anything?

  • onofrio

    If Christ was fully man, what of his seed? Was it ever emitted, or did he remain miraculously *continent*? Unaroused by the loosened hair and tears lavished on his feet?As for Christ, so for his *called* proxies…Many of the latter are certainly not miraculously *continent*, rather ill-stoppered, brimming vats of longing, or something even more morbid – stoppage merely a deferral, while there are eyes to see, of denied, rationalised, compartmentalised carnal eruptions: sin in the sealed section, stowed behind the vestments and genuflections. Semen be-cometh demon. It will out. Not all the Roman domes, not all the austerities and absolutions, not all the tearful confessions in the world can contain it, would seem. And for those adept at sublimation, devils come in slumber.What hath God wrought with all his *vocations*? A special grace, in pious fancy, turns out curse for too many, in fact. The young and the vulnerable pay the cost of the lovely lie.

  • Doug_White

    Chaotician wrote:”making bread into godly flesh to be consumed in some cannibalistic rite, wine into God’s blood for a ghoulish vampire treat…do they really believe this eating and drinking God is a spiritually helpful act?”Actually, yes…that is exactly what they think. Organized religion is not an exercise in logic. It is a substitute for logic, tightly embraced by those who cannot, or will not, think for themselves. People who must have some “protection” for things that go bump in the night. People who cannot tolerate the idea of not existing, of not surviving death but finding an eternal life.I think it is all basically that: a salve to ease the fear of not existing. There are two things of which the world has never known a shortage: stupid things to believe, and stupid people to believe them.But they are entitled to have those beliefs, are they not?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    From a postition of respect: What the Catholics wish to do within their own church is their own business. So long as they don’t harm others, their traditions are not a matter of religion and politics, supposedly the focus of this blog.From a secular Jewish perspective: Who gives a darn?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    SecularHumanist:My rub with the Catholic Church (and the other Christian denominations) is that they want to force their views upon everyone, and they want to subject ME to living the way that THEY say I should live.Quite: And not only other Christian denonominations, but all of us. And the RCC is not alone. As was pointed out to me by a Catholic on another thread, the Fundies are guilty of same.This is a a matter of religion and public affairs. Should institutions which receive the gift of nonprofit status, dependent on their not using the “pulpit” to politic, legislate against abortion, gay marriage, etc., should such insitutions that continually violate the law, attempting to impose their will on the American people, continue to receive tax exempt status?IMO, any Christian, Catholic or otherwise, who doesn’t wish to have an abortion, who is gay and doesn’t want to marry, who does not wish to benefit from stem cell research should be left in peace.As for the rest of us taxpayers, leave us alone.That, IMHO, is religion and politics.Who chooses to sleep with whom among which clergy….yawn.

  • Doug_White

    Wiccan:”Wicca is the re-edification of an ancient religion as it should have been.”Thank you very much for the links and for the suggested reading material. I look forward to reading this.Have you always/only been a Wiccan, or do you come from another tradition?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Chaotician:”Then we have Jews praying to a wall and the Muslims seeking God in a rock from space; how bizarre can it get??”Indeed that would be bizarre, if either ever happened anywhere but in your mind. (Actually, you must find it bizarre enough there!! No offense.)

  • Doug_White

    Farnaz:I am curious. You have of course heard of Myers-Briggs and the Jungian sorter. Do you know what you are according to M/B? I am an INTJ.

  • wiccan

    Doug-I think I was born Pagan. It runs in the family. I know that at least one great- aunt and two aunts followed the Gardnerian tradition. I’m a solitary (not in a coven).From the time I first could read I was fascinated by the myths and fables of different cultures. They made a lot more sense to me than the stories in the Bible. When I was 18 my aunt gave me a copy of “An ABC of Witchcraft” and I never looked back.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Hi Doug,You asked me this before, but I don’t recall how I turned out!! It was quite awhile ago, and I suspect I’d profile differently, ideally, closer to you. Am highly intuitive. Am becoming more introverted. You know, it’s quite interesting how all these discussions perennially focus on male sexuality. While employed at a highly prestigious Jesuit University, I knew a beautiful nun and a priest who openly lived together.Odd that folks don’t yet realize that nuns are Women, just as Fr. Cutie is a Man.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    I didn’t like this nun, who didn’t like black people, not at all. Didn’t like Jew either.Liked the priest, though. So, too bad for you, Sister M. I’m real tempted to go further with your identity. Real tempted, racist bigot. You crushed the career of my closest friend because she was African American.Very Catholic of you, Sister M.

  • enaughton27

    Susan, since you are not a Catholic, why do you post on this matter?

  • Doug_White

    Wiccan wrote:”I’m a solitary (not in a coven).”Does this mean that, as a solitary, you devote yourself 24-hours a day to your practice? Is it like being a monk or nun?

  • enaughton27

    I’m a practicing Roman Catholic, so I guess I have the credentials to speak out on matters of atheism, such as, “Why are history’s genocidal maniacs atheists?” I’m talking about you, Stalin and Mao? What is it in atheism that drives men to want to kill — even more than people who kill in the name of “God”? I’m talking about you, radical muslims.

  • Doug_White

    Farnaz wrote:”Odd that folks don’t yet realize that nuns are Women, just as Fr. Cutie is a Man.”I would imagine that many Catholics, especially those who go to parochial schools staffed by monks and nuns, learn quickly to think of both as authority figures. And, according to Catholic doctrine, authority for everything derives from God, and permeates the clergy. Undoubtedly, few Catholic children are encouraged to think of ecclesiastical authority figures as having (or using) penises and vaginas.

  • dncthm1

    The problem as I see it is that those that wants to be priest are not bible readers. First of all Peter was married, secondly, the bible warn that the breakaway church would forbid marriage and eating of meat. The apostle Peter did not create the Catholic church nor did he head it. The scripture teaches that Peter and the other apostles preached the gospel on the day of Pentacost. Peter was not the head of the church, Christ is.As far as women being priest the scripture teaches that God is the head over Christ, Christ is the head of man, and man is the head of woman. Therefore she is not to head the church of God wish he purchased with His own blood.I wish more people would read the bible for themselves and stop allowing religious leaders to tell them what it mean. The more you read the more the understanding. One more thing:Religion is manmake and therefore subject to human error. The bible is written in such a way that those that seek the truth will find it.

  • Doug_White

    Enaughton27 wrote:”What is it in atheism that drives men to want to kill”Because you are Roman Catholic, you are automatically an authority on atheism? That is a very interesting jump in logic. Can you explain further?A few mass murderers have been atheistic. It does NOT follow that all atheists, or even most, are ‘driven to want to kill’. What is it in Christianity that drove the popes to authorize the killings of so many non-believers?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    “Therefore she is not to head the church of God wish he purchased with His own blood.”I don’t know how to tell you this, but God was not/is not a man. Also, church’s cost big bucks. Blood doesn’t do it.Finalment, it is vaginas that allow for the birth of all men and man-gods. It jes bees that way.

  • hyjanks

    So what’s his name asks, “I’m a practicing Roman Catholic, so I guess I have the credentials to speak out on matters of atheism, such as, “Why are history’s genocidal maniacs atheists?”

  • Doug_White

    Farnaz wrote:”Am highly intuitive. Am becoming more introverted. “Yes, your intuition and introversion are evident to me, and I’m inclined to suspect that you would test INTJ.

  • wiccan

    Doug-“Does this mean that, as a solitary, you devote yourself 24-hours a day to your practice? Is it like being a monk or nun?”ROTFLMAO!!A solitary is just that; a Wiccan who is not affiliated with a coven. As for 24-hour a day devotion…Wicca is the path I follow. It helps me live my life ethically and gives me joy.

  • Doug_White

    DNCTHM1 wrote:”Therefore she is not to head the church of God wish he purchased with His own blood.”I’m speechless. I thought people like you were extinct.

  • Doug_White

    Wiccan wrote:”A solitary is just that; a Wiccan who is not affiliated with a coven.”Ah. Unchurched! I see. In those branches of Christianity which allow for such, a solitary/anchor/hermit is someone who lives alone, rarely having contact with other persons, and devoting himself to whatever religious pursuits his/her ‘calling’ directs.I’m more interested than ever in reading on the links you provided. Thanks again.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    The thing is even if Mary were a virgin, nothing in the NT suggests that Jesus, the Babe, did not exit through the traditional orifice.Hence, she who creates God in conjunction with God, is the Mother of God on earth. Head of Church. No more Popes. Gowns, hats et al better on women anyway. From now on, Mopes (Women). Relocate nation to Manhattan or L.A.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Women should head the church by divine and demi-divine writ. End of discussion.Should they marry? If they wish. Farewell.

  • wiccan

    Doug White:”Does this mean that the Wiccan religion is practiced primarily/solely by heterosexuals?”No. What’s on the outside isn’t important, it’s the soul inside.

  • jayrkay

    If the Church wants to maintain, that is their probable – that is Celibacy in the Name of Lord. you are an atheist and before that a Catholic. You could not maintain yourself a VIRGIN, perhaps because of peer pressure, thank goodness to contraceptives. Your hormones gave you no CHOICES. I hope you do not have any children, it will be hard to keep changing partners, what ever kind- first allegiance is to your sex partner, if there is one.We, in Florida, get rid of the children first. If you are not having any sex and has remained celibate by CHOICE, it is great-Gosh, the religion or Children, not in the way, be galivanting until you become old and rejected-of course Plastic surgery is there- face transplantation, but internal organs may not be their or bones making noise. External and internal action depend on human inter reaction- of course if you are Homophobic, you can have the choice of animal companions- Read “slobbering Americans”

  • Nevermore531

    Bluefish:” What possible standing do you have to tell an organization that you fundamentally reject how to do anything?”Susan isn’t telling anyone how to do things, she opining about the Catholic hierarchy. In that case her standing is free speeech! It is still an American right!

  • Doug_White

    Wiccan writes:”No. What’s on the outside isn’t important, it’s the soul inside.”This is fascinating. Is there any particular reading that you would recommend? Can you describe the religion in greater detail? I would like to know more.

  • Nevermore531

    Jayrkay:Say what??? Huh???

  • Nevermore531

    ” The bible is written in such a way that those that seek the truth will find it.”Whatever truth that may be. What is true for one human is not necessarily true for another.If a the Bible had been written in a terse, straightfoward way, people wouldn’t have to seek. They wouldn’t need to interpret parables, or guess the meaning of passages, they would simply know that 1 + 1 = 2, not 3, 4, or 5.That is the problem with all cryptic writing. People interpret something that the author had not meant to imply. The Bible in a way reminds me of government handbooks and guidelines. They lack succinct writing and contain so much ambiguity that you need a multitude of government employees to interpret them for you. And believe it or not, rarely those employees agree.

  • Nevermore531

    Hi Persiflage,Nice to see you could join us!

  • Nevermore531

    YourAffectionateUncle:That is quite a prayer you posted.Now of course I have a question. Is it sincere, tongue-in-cheek, admonishing, comical, satirical, or even satanical?

  • matt85237

    continuing on bradeells560 on May 14, 2009 at 4:01 PM Several of their correspondents replied in a more scientific way saying that the Pope was right. “A strident defence of condom distribution cannot obscure the fact that, despite public health’s scientific basis, it has been unable to curb the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. Within sexually transmitted epidemics, the evidence is fairly strong that condom distribution is not an effective policy”Another Correspondent to the Lancet states:One writer even when so far as to provide footnotes and references.Who exactly is the idiot spewing bile?

  • YourAffectionateUncle

    Nevermore:”Now of course I have a question. Is it sincere, tongue-in-cheek, admonishing, comical, satirical, or even satanical?”Yes, yes, yes, yes.

  • YourAffectionateUncle

    Nevermore:Just what you see, really.

  • persiflage

    Gaby – how are you? I’m picturing the beauty of Montana in spring – I drove across that vast state on my way to Oregon about 12 years ago. I stopped by to explore the site of the Battle of the Little Big Horn – and was reminded once again that ego kills with perfection. I can only imagine the ego of that noble savage that carried Custer’s scalp to the Chief’s tent….! 200 vs. 2000 does seem like long odds – seems right that the First Americans managed to corner the market on gambling casinos, if nothing else. I’m a lover of mysteries…..my horoscope says that travels to Germany (and England) are certain to lead to personal revelations that so far remain undisclosed. Curiously, I’m drawn to those countries. I see you’ve studied Buddhism – there are great truths to be found there. Take care!

  • ripvanwinkleincollege

    The Eastern Orthodox tradition continued to have married priests, who are a valued part of society and have a standing as community leaders like teachers and business people. Who would care what a Catholic priest thinks? They have no stake in the survival of a society. They have no family of their own in their community except for the one they were born into.

  • Nevermore531

    Hello Persiflage,Hop on that plane and find your answers. Remember “the truth is out there”! LOL!As far as Bhuddism is concerned, my younger daughter is a much more fastidious student than I, but we discuss the philosophy and agree that it has much to offer, unlike the mainstream and cultist religions I have come into contact with.I also believe that Pagans and Bhuddists have much in common. I think we both respect life, all life, and try to do our best to give more than we take.Montana’s spring this year was/is a no-show. If it remains this cold much longer we will go straight from winter to winter. No fun! Still haven’t been able to plant my garden, or my flowers. This weekend the weather is supposed to improve, the question is for how long? I do hope we won’t get another killing frost because my fruit trees are blooming and I would rather not have a replay of last year where we didn’t get a single apple, pear, plum, or cherry.My dog groomer is Crow Indian and I hope that this year she will be able to take me to the annual recreation of Custer’s Last Stand and the ensuing powwow. It is much more fun mingling with the Natives than sitting in the tourist stands.Be good to yourself!

  • Nevermore531

    YourAffectionateUncle:Well, if that is the case, you don’t seem very affectionate, do you?The prayer reeks of hate and discontent.Mind you, I don’t care much for religion as such, but I would wager that you offended a large number of people here.Not a nice thing to do.

  • teamuse

    Susan, I wonder if you and some of the commenters here have ever bothered to talk with a priest who finds celibacy to be a source of grace in his life? There are many, many of them out there. I am a Catholic who would like to see celibacy become optional — but that doesn’t mean I haven’t seen the value of the practice for those who feel called to it. And the reality is that if the practice is changed it will have both positive and negative effects — one negative being that since priest salaries would need to increase to support families, there would be less money for Catholic hospitals and other social services that our society has come to depend on. This is not to say we shouldn’t change, just that we need to be prepared for the consequences. Anyway, my point is, writing derisively about a subject you haven’t taken the time to fully understand doesn’t add anything to the conversation.

  • Arminius2

    Perhaps there is a lifecycle of blogs, that they eventually go from startup toA year ago, Susan’s blog/thread was the shining Hope Diamond in On Faith. One Where are the great non-believers, Mr Mark, EFav, Chris? All gone. Where are theEven CCNL and Spidey are gone.Does this not communicate a message to those of us who give a damn? I, Arminius, Further, does this not communicate a message to Susan Jacoby? Apparently not.

  • edbyronadams

    Long before I became a Buddhist, the only spiritual value my skeptical mind would tolerate is the value of the circle which is demonstrated so prolifically in nature and the inherent value of paying the gift of life forward by raising children.That conviction has only been reinforced by faith. If the RCC finds value in truncating that cycle by ending it in their priesthood, I find is puzzling but tip my cap if they can hold on to that apparently untenable position in the industrialized world.

  • Nevermore531

    Thank you, Arminius, I stand with you as well!Now if only a few more would join us, wouldn’t that be grand?!?!Real discussions again instead of the vomit that some like to indulge in! Of course, then again, those poor creatures who constantly call us names have been soooo maligned by us, the Neo-Nazi and the Claymore Swinger that we will come out as the bad guys in the end.I am just glad that Wiccan knows better, because her judgment of us is definitely more important to me than Schweinepriester’s and his high priestress’.To hell with the statement widely, but falsely, attributed to Marie Antoinette “Let them eat cake!”I say let them eat Schwein. Much more nutritious since it is the “other” white meat.

  • Nevermore531

    Ah, Arminius, I can see the responses from Mini-Pimmel and Farnaz now already…However, I will not give them any more ammo! If Susan hasn’t gotten it yet, she won’t! And then we will have to live without her outstanding blog. It just amamzes me that a person with her intellect can be drawn in by trolls.Oh, well! I have survived much and I will survive this too, but I shall grieve because I liked to hang out here. The discussions stimulated my mind and I enjoyed the dialogue.Well, my friend, we shall see how it all plays out. Hopefully, for the best.

  • bigbrother1

    Celibacy doctrines are the kinds of things that happen when you invent theology. Once you have some ideological nugget (e.g. nobody mentioned Jesus having a wife, squeeze or booty call), someone’s bound to follow it out to its most absurd reaches. And thus you get celibacy for priests.I used to “believe”” in some sort of god and spent a lot of time thinking about questions of religion. Gradually I came to realize that all theology was just mental diddling completely disconnected from reality. I only wish I had woken up sooner.

  • Arminius2

    Yes, we will go on, my friend, and we will find another home.Meanwhile, gute nacht! I’m sinking fast.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    enaughton27, you said,some people also point to north korea as an example of a atheist society. north korea is not secular. they have a NEW religion. kim jong-il is the national deity. he is their savior. he hosts revivals where he heals the sick. “the great leader” is known to have performed miracles. north korean state media reports that kim routinely shoots three or four holes-in-one per round of golf. when he dies, he will be resurrected. some people are skeptical of all this. the ones who live in north korea are dealt with in appropriate theocratic fashion.the moral failings of communism, nazism and kim jong-ilism are much easier to see because they are not cloaked in the familiar trappings of our own traditional religions, but the underlying mindset is the same. these “secular religions” require unquestioned faith in beliefs provable only by reference to state doctrine/dogma. they have group rituals designed to reinforce beliefs and encourage group-think. beliefs include the idea that outsiders are dangerous and possibly evil, so an “us vs. them” mentality is fostered in which opposing beliefs are suppressed or outright banned and unbelievers are discriminated against, segregated, exiled or killed.for this to “work,” state doctrine teaches that allegiance to state doctrine supercedes golden rule humanity. substitute “yahweh/jesus/allah” for “mao” or “lenin” or “fuhrer” or great leader” and “temple/church/mosque” for “state” and these secular religions become indistinguishable from our own inhumane theocracies of the dark ages.

  • matt85237

    Nevermore531 You are certainly correct in part and completely correct about some things. I still hold that “The Church did more to save and protect Jews in all situations than any other person or organization on the planet.” I feel there is a great need to rebut the myth of Pope Pius XII’s complicity.I lived in Baden Wurtemburg for a number of years and traveled a bit in Bavaria so I am somewhat familiar with what you know so much better. Catholicism is not native but organic to the area. May I ask about the Latin Mass reference? The church I attend in my youth here in the states had the Latin Mass well almost to 1970. The Latin Mass itself is a glorious thing; I recommend it to anyone. Are you saying the Bavarians held on to it too long and thereby so showed their tendency to Nazism? That I wouldn’t agree with.

  • laboo

    Well, in the case of Origen of Alexandria it might be quite appropriate to call celibacy a self-inflicted wound…

  • RPW3

    Personally, I am an Episcopalian, and I am convinced the more I study the modern history of the Catholic church (since 1869 when Pope Pius IX issued the papal edict that life begins at conception, thus confirming the temporality of the soul in line with Aquinas, the first psychological expert on the soul who attempted to cause God’s intervention into into temporal political activities) and the more I understand the nature of Democracy, that Americans have two choices: either the Texas Catholic Bishops and the American Catholic Council of Bishops(ACCOB)have to respect American Democracy (and stop sticking their pri..s up America’s a..h.le), or there has to be a counterinsurgency movement against them by those who believe in Democracy (that God is The People).The American Catholic Bishops are way over the line against democratic rule, and must be trained back into the exigencies and expediencies of American Democracy. The alternative is that they be marked and targeted as the enemies of American Democracy by the House Council on Unamerican Activities, and a strategy drawn up to discredit them.

  • clydle

    Why is so much of “OnFaith” devoted to people who are hostile to the very idea of faith?

  • volkmare

    CLYDLE:It’s a left wing paper with some rather vocal left wing bloggers, that’s why.Don’t let it bother you.Mark

  • justillthen

    Hello clydle,”Why is so much of “OnFaith” devoted to people who are hostile to the very idea of faith?”Some appear to be quite hostile to traditional religious perceptions. That is not an indictment of their belief in faith itself. It certainly is not in my case. I have a great deal of ‘faith’ in the divine nature of Life, though little faith in the literal or orthodox forms of belief offered by traditional religious systems. Another point might be made that you are commenting on the thread of one of the main atheists on Washington Post. Though a good counterpoint to that is that it is usually the busiest thread of the bunch.

  • daniel12

    If anyone is interested I have posted on the main site as I usually do. This site here does not allow me to post long posts–to transfer what I have written on the main site–so I refer people to the main site.

  • justillthen

    There is nothing that I know of that supports the concept that the celibacy requirement of the Roman Catholic Church draws pedophiles, or creates them. ‘Enforced’, (by vow), celibacy over a lifetime surely creates challenges for priests, and there is little doubt that vows of celibacy will be difficult even for the most pure and spiritually focused. But it alone is not the corrosive agent. The Catholic priesthood draws many types I am sure, and I would not doubt that it has some appeal for homosexually leaning spiritually minded men. Does the vow of celibacy encourage homosexuals? Celibacy can be one of the most profound tools for furthering ones focus on spirit. It can also be a negative weight. It is not a good choice for everyone as a way to pursue their spiritual aims, and it may be great for an individual for a period of time but not throughout life. These are debates for Catholics and the Catholic Church to continue to have, as it is mostly practiced in Catholicism. Pedophilia, as has been noted, is a societal concern and does not remain the sole realm of Catholicism.

  • Nevermore531

    Matt85237:”May I ask about the Latin Mass reference? The church I attend in my youth here in the states had the Latin Mass well almost to 1970. The Latin Mass itself is a glorious thing; I recommend it to anyone. Are you saying the Bavarians held on to it too long and thereby so showed their tendency to Nazism? That I wouldn’t agree with.”No, no, Matt! I did not mean to imply any such thing. The Latin mass and Nazism have nothing in common. My perspective is purely from the secular side, meaning that preaching in Latin to a bunch of Hinterwaelder Germans, you might as well preach in Chinese. Although I agree with you that from an aesthetic point the view the pomp and circumstance of the Latin Mass is beautiful, when you can’t understand the words, you can’t understand the meaning.So I guess what I was trying to say is that the faithful stood in awe and wonder, but the didn’t comprehend a thing. The priest had complete control, because wasn’t the whole purpose of the Latin mass that you “don’t throw pearls to the swine”?This is not meant as a putdown of your religion, it is simply how I see things.

  • Doug_White

    Bevjims1 wrote:”In the RCC being a priest requires celibacy or you lose your job. A priest may freely agree to this when they become a priest, but if a priest hears the calling to be a priest but also hears nature calling, he is in a delemma.”Being a public school teacher requires that you have no criminal background. If a teacher agrees to this, but later decides he/she wishes to rob a bank and is caught…he is in a dilemma.Can you not perceive your illogic?

  • Doug_White

    Bevjim1 wrote:”113 out of 5000 priests who served in the Los Angeles area between 1940 and 2003 and were accused or convicted of pedophile acts. That’s 2.26%. That is the number that were caught. If you assume that at least half were not caught, that makes about 5% or more of priests pedophiles, much higher than the general population.”Again, you construct wild and unfounded “arguments” with, as you admit, no proof.Secondly you quote numbers without giving a source that proves you correct.Third, you ‘assume’ that ‘at least half’ were not caught? Why would you assume anything of the sort?Fourth, I am weary of your illogical banter and unsupported claims., and am terminating my participation in it herewith.

  • daniel12

    To Arminius from Daniel. I have to admit you have me stumped why you compare woman to an army terrible with banners waving.I fail to see the comparison between the two. I see more a contrast than anything else. I can understand if someone says the sun is similar to a king or that a great warrior is like a lion or that a rose symbolizes love (and the thorns of the rose the difficulties achieving love), but woman like an army terrible with banners?First by army terrible it can only be an enemy army. One would not say “terrible” of one’s own forces. So really Arminius, you feel the same way before woman as you would if an enemy army is approaching?Actually I find comparing woman to an army terrible with banners the worst insult I have ever heard addressed to woman. For centuries upon centuries women have been raped, beaten, killed, treated as pack animals, and to say to a woman that she reminds one of an army terrible with banners seems so unbelievably ironic and cruel, so a rubbing of her own powerlessness in her face that I can hardly believe it.But maybe you see a plausible comparison I do not see. I certainly hope you are not going to spout some pseudo-esoteric nonsense such as there is the same amount of God force in woman as in an army, etc. etc. as if you actually not only have evidence of such a God force but that you can measure it to make comparisons…Please just give us the answer to the riddle you posed. For the life of me I cannot see an answer a woman would like.The closest I can see to a comparison is to compare a particular woman to such an army, a woman of impressive physical stature, with hair piled high in ramparts as in Yeats’ Anne Gregory. but even then it is a stretch. What it comes down to is whether or not woman is as fearsome as an army terrible with banners. Either she is or she is not. If not the comparison falls. I really do not see an answer that you can give that would be plausible.I pass the riddle back to you. I say you cannot answer your own riddle. I admit though I would find it interesting to be proved wrong. I always like learning something new.

  • Nevermore531

    Daniel 12:”To Arminius from Daniel. I have to admit you have me stumped why you compare woman to an army terrible with banners waving”It is an excerpt from the Song of Solomon, I believe it’s 6:10.

  • bob2davis

    Please, let the catholic church continue its requisites of celibacy and male domination. That way the number of priest will continue to diminish. So many gay priests have already left that they only account for 50% today (versus 80-90% not too long ago.) By continuing to suppress women, one can only expect that catholic women will look elsewhere for spiritual guidance. When a corporation loses its employees, franchises, and stockholders, it will cease to exist. That is the goal. By the way, Stalin and Mao killed because they were sociopaths not because they were atheists. Despite the millions that were killed by these dictators, the number pales in comparison with those killed, tortured, maligned and ostracized by the catholics over two thousand years.

  • Nevermore531

    Doug_White:Celibate does NOT simply mean unmarried.Main Entry: celibate Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition

  • daniel12

    On Primo Levi somewhat (actually an excuse to think of something) and Germany. The strange thing I find about Germany–and Japan too–is that they seem counterintuitive to a particular intuition people have between individuals and the collective.People generally feel a person can change more easily than a body of people, a nation, culture, etc. But the startling thing about Germany and Japan is, well, here they are now, not only quite normal but well directed toward pursuits (economic, etc.) which benefit us all.Germany and Japan perpetrated great horrors in WW2. A measure of the horror generated is that the U.S. killed a whole bunch of citizens in the bombing of Dresden as if in falling in line with the general madness (and what a level of madness) of the war.So how is it Germany and Japan changed so much so rapidly when most people cannot even change themselves individually to such a degree?I find this an excellent political science thesis for Phd. Simply pointing it out and discussing evidence for and against such an issue would be instructive. How much more so if real underlying patterns were distinguished. A career maker. Tenure.I freely give it to anyone. As long as I have three square meals I am doing well. People should just give their best because the human race is always precariously poised and needs the best.That is all for now.

  • Doug_White

    Nevermore the Neo Nazi wrote:”

  • Doug_White

    Nevermore The Neo Nazi wrote:”Celibate does NOT simply mean unmarried.”Actually it DOES.Celibate: n. one who lives in celibacy [Latin caelibatus, from caelebs “unmarried”.celibacy: n. the state of not being married; esp: the state of one bound by vow not to marry.Page 141, Britannica-Webster Dictionary.The presumption that the words celibate/celibacy are synonymous with ‘non sexual’ is just that: a presumption.Do some research before you make a complete fool of yourself again.

  • Nevermore531

    Doug “Kleiner Pimmel” White:Roget’s Thesaurus is a far better reference than the one you quoted.Celibacy indeed means no sexual contact, whether married or unmarried.Every halfway intelligent person knows it, but then what would I expect from you, you demeaning, racist A**hole. Please note the capital “A”.

  • Nevermore531

    While both abstinence and celibacy refer to practices of refraining from having sex, the difference lies in the reasoning for doing so. Celibacy is most commonly practiced by priests, monks, or other members of religious groups who do not allow the members of their group to engage in sex. Celibacy forbids penile-vaginal sex and may even forbid masturbation. Abstinence, on the other hand, is simply a choice that a person makes not to engage in sex until marriage or some other specified time. This decision could be based on religious values, since many religions do promote abstinence, but it could simply be a personal choice to abstain from sex for a while- or forever. People who practice abstinence may refrain from all forms of sex (penile-vaginal, oral, and anal) or they may simply choose not to engage in penile-vaginal sex. Basically, abstinence is commonly a personal choice that someone makes to himself or herself, while celibacy is a choice made for religious reasons.Source:

  • Arminius2

    Doug the Flaccid spewed this gobbet:”Celibate: n. one who lives in celibacy [Latin caelibatus, from caelebs “unmarried”.”Well, the Flaccid One can sure use Wikipedia. But if he looked it up in the dictionary….1: the state of not being marriedApparently the poster does not comprehend that words tend to gain other additional meanings.So if it just means ‘unmarried’, then there would be no problem with RC priests screwing anything in sight. Plus many people who are unmarried are sure as hell not celibate – I was not, that’s for damn sure. Were you?

  • Doug_White

    Nevermore the Neo Nazi wrote:”Roget’s Thesaurus is a far better reference than the one you quoted.”I notice that you have no proofs for that assertion! Ha! Only a stinkend Fotze such as you would make that blunder.

  • Doug_White

    Arminius The Tattooed Lady wrote:”So if it just means ‘unmarried’, then there would be no problem with RC priests screwing anything in sight. Plus many people who are unmarried are sure as hell not celibate – I was not, that’s for damn sure. Were you?”Is it your alcoholism that makes you so resistant to logic?

  • Arminius2

    “So if it just means ‘unmarried'”…That is not what you said. You insisted that it meant unmarried, and only unmarried. But now you change your words. You were not debating, you were slamming and spewing hatred. I pity you.

  • Arminius2

    Nevermore,Let us totally ignore Doug from here on. It is sadly apparent that it is OK with the powers-that-be for him to call you a neo-nazi, but it is not OK for us to answer in kind. Let him stew in his own foul bigotry.

  • Doug_White

    Arminius The Tattooed Lady writes:””So if it just means ‘unmarried'”…”That is EXACTLY what I wrote, and that is exactly what it means.What time of day do you start drinking?

  • Nevermore531

    Kleiner Pimmel,You are one of the most vile individuals I have had the displeasure to “virtually” meet.And, if you already have to look up German insults to throw at me, at least get them right, you little nincompoop!God, doesn’t looking into the mirror want to make you puke every time you see that visage?!?

  • Nevermore531

    Arminius,Don’t let “Doug the Flaccid”, actually I think it should be “Doug the Flatulent”, bother you! Since he is from “down-under”, I don’t even know what the heck he wants here. Don’t they have newspapers in “down-under” where he can fart off?Unless, of course, they already have his number and he has been banned from their erudite publications.I think his mother dropped him on the head one to many times, I hear that causes mental dysfunction. She probably didn’t like him either.Then again, maybe he is married to an overbearing woman who wears the pants in the family and this is his only outlet? So let us just pity the poor creature and ignore it the best we can!

  • jclark3

    Of course not allowing otherwise competent but not celibate people to be religions figures is silly. But it’s no more silly than believing in virgin birth, intercession of a god in worldly affairs or the literal truth of a collection of ancient fables…

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Persiflage! You have returned!I am so very glad to see your posts!! I have been meditating for several months, have read most of the links you provided, except for one on sacred texts, which I lost and cannot find, and which was on sacred texts.It has done so much for me that I’m almost afraid to go on. Have been reading Jack Kornfield lately, and toying with the idea of delving into Insight Meditation, as I think his points about the need to wed meditation to psychology are well taken. Still, I wonder if some ghosts arent’t best left in the closet.As for Spring, I fear it is no longer with us West and East. We had a few days, but for the most part, it’s been a no-show here in New York, for us, as it was, for you, in Montana. I remembered my mother’s worrying over having to buy me a Spring coat, Spring clothes etc. (we had little money), tried to describe it to my girl. We’ve had only a couple of days of it so far. Today looks like it might be one such.Doug White is also a practitioner. Soon, I hope, you will share some of your knowledge with us again. If only, everyone would meditate. Then, maybe, we could all find some peace, some clarity. Better if all do, than one or too!Sometimes, I meditate with my students! Did you know that they’ve introduced meditation into the school system? Many high schools in New York have imeplemented it. Some colleges!Ah, Persiflage! Good to see you back!Farnaz

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Dear Pseudo,Please come home.Sincerely,

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    matt85237:No one accused Pius II of being “complicit” as in being a Nazi. He has, however, a great deal to explain, for example, the non-response to documented pleas from those priests and others who begged him for assistance, some to stop the slaughter of Jews led by other priests.Allowing Bishop Houdal to carry on Ratline operations almost outside his very window. Honoring the Concordat with Hitler so religiously that not a Sunday went by in Germany and Austria in which the priests did not pledge alliegance to Hitler.Doing nothing about the 200 Croat priests who cut Jews, Serbs, and Roma into pieces with scissors in the Concentration camps they all-but-ran, stole what little they had, and deposited it in Vatican Bank.It’s still there. The descendants have been suing for years, but Vatican Nation refuses to return the Blood Money.The Croat Priest Murderers were never punished. There names have been listed on this blog.The archive doesn’t lie. Thou shall not descrate the memories of millions tortured and killed in order to rehabilitate the name of this Pope.Catholics would do well to search their souls, to inquire into their Passion Plays, the false and biased myths in their sacred texts, etc., that are responsible for so much suffering and that continue to promote antisemitism.Now, joining the Catholics and Protestants who have called for the editing of the NT, to make it a more truthful and less antisemitic document, are twelve Orthodox priests.Get on board. Tell Benedict to release the Vatican documents on WW II and the HOlocaust that everyone has been asking since 1965, Support those who call for NT reform, those who want the Vatican to return the Priests’ blood money, etc.Get on board.

  • Arminius2

    Nevermore,I have some trouble believing that Doug is from Down Under. On another discussion group, I regularly correspond with folks from Oz, and they are some of the finest people ever. Doug is a disgrace to Oz.But Doug is proof that delusions can be useful. His mother’s delusions about his intelligence, good looks, high morality, etc., undoubtedly kept her from drowning him at birth.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Daniel12,I gave you the answer three times. What is it you don’t get? REad the psalm and my posts. It’s a beautiful psalm. Primo Levi should not be a reason to talk about anything other than Primo Levi, perhaps, his understanding of the camps, his philosophy, later work, atheism, etc.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Doug White,Thanks very, very much for the Meyers Briggs praise, but I do not think I profile as you, quite yet. Hopefully, some day!Is there spring where you live?Farnaz

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Doug White,I read two of the Cunningham books that Wiccan, PaganPlace, and Lepi were kind enough to recommend to me.Farnaz

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Hi Onofrio,I must protest! Semen is not Demon. Came to me and together we brought daughter to earth–very violet sweet, she!!Life-mate and I are looking for spaniel for serious young soul–wish to hail her blithe spirit! :)Do you still have spring down under?

  • garethharris

    The RC church does have married priests – with families. It is often the case that when Episcopal priests convert to the RC, they bring their families – wife and kids. They also get a larger stipend than a single priest. So the maintenance of the celibacy rule, invented about the 6th centtury, begun about the fifth century, is purely a posturing for power.

  • explorers100

    Interesting enough, celibacy has its roots in the reality that in early medieval times the Catholic church did not have the financial resources to care for a priest’s family. Of course there was plenty of ready made scripture around to justify the practice and for centuries the church looked away as priests satisfied their urges preying on the women, children and fellow priests with the added authority of being God’s conduit to heaven.My old Basque great-grandmother well into her nineties took me aside on the day I left for college and told me–“grandson, if you want money and women, become a priest”.How long will we be saddled with Gore Vidal’s “sky god” religions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity? The answer is for as long as there is ignorance and fear in the world.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Persiflage,Re: Your post on the thread, May 14, 2009 5:49 PM |Elegant, thoughtful, beautifully written, and true! Ah, Kirk! Ah, Enterprise!As for women being “beautiful to look at,” t’is true. True it is of men as well.Sometimes, I find myself gazing absently at my loved one, musing on the angles of his face. Many beautiful men. Beautiful women. Beautiful children. Almost all. Could be all.

  • Doug_White

    Arminius The Tattooed Lady:Hey, rube, I’m with you. I have no idea where the castration-advocating nazi came up with the idea I’m from down under. But I have learned that it is futile to expect logic, facts, or accuracy from her. With emotional extremes, however, she is good. Bavarian angst, I would imagine.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Dear Pseudo,As you know, it is pseudo-Spring in New York City.Time for verse, methinks.Pining in Brooklyn,

  • Nevermore531

    You are right, Arminius! I confused him with the Oh-No-Frio! My bad!As far as the “Kleiner Pimmel” is concerned, I already said all I have to say.Well, maybe one more thing, I wonder if he is a tiny, short, little man with a Napoleon complex? You know how they are! They marry woman far superior to them, kowtow to them, but malign the rest of humanity in order to establish their manhood.Poor little creatures they are, indeed. And not to know the difference between unmarried and celibate shows you what kind of intellect we are dealing with.

  • Arminius2

    Friend Nevermore,Can you beam down? Apparently I am the only one left here with an IQ above room temperature.

  • Nevermore531

    Gollum!” I have no idea where the castration-advocating nazi came up with the idea I’m from down under”Don’t worry, in your case it won’t be necessary because you don’t have anything to castrate to begin with, you Neanderthal!

  • BennyFactor

    Keep in mind – celibacy was introduced in the middle ages via the unilateral decree of a single Pope. History also tells us that at the time, there were mass suicides among the Catholic clergy as a result. Is it any wonder that the last several centuries have been marked by priests acting-out sexually and victimizing their flocks – particularly children – and that the power infrastructure of the institution has been sweeping this shameful perversion under the rug all this time. No wonder gays and sexual predators have been attracted to the priesthood as a haven. What nobody has asked is whether the Holy Spirit has been so agrieved by this rampant perversion, that he has pulled His power from the church, leaving it to go through its gyrations, smoke-filled costume dramas and micro-management of individual covenant relationships without the power to do anything of value.

  • Nevermore531

    Arminius,Never fear, the German is here! LOL!!!It was so nice to see Persiflage stop in, short as the visit was, as well of a bunch of old and new posters who had many varying opinions on the subject on hand.Then of course, Gollum and Farnaz, decided that this is not a subject to be discussed by anyone but Catholics. So I wonder what the heck they are still doing here? Just to spread hate and discontent? I guess we have our battle cut out for us! Of course, only if you are up to it.If that pathetic excuse for a human being thinks for one minute that I will back down because of his insults and total lack of manners, I have another thing coming for him!

  • DoTheRightThing

    Celibacy is no more a wound than any other discipline or act of self-control. But Jacoby’s PC attitude automatically excludes an intellectual assessment of the topic. And if it has a chance to sell more copy, apparently the WaPo will print it, regardless of merit.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Daniel12 writes:”So how is it Germany and Japan changed so much so rapidly when most people cannot even change themselves individually to such a degree?Not even suitable for a freshman essay, to broad. If narrowed down, tedious. Been there done that, many. Some deeply buried philosophical questions, perhaps.Point:Assaults on Afghan German nationals? On Pakistani German nationals? On Turkish German nationals? Nazi Party?That Europeans smell like dogs? Yes, that one is still with our friends (not)Pacific.De-demonized? Hmmm….Dunno. don’t think so. But we have more than enough evil spirits at home. Visit any American Indian Reservation, for starters. Better to think on our own demons, right here in the propagandistic US. When will we “change so much”?Awaiting change in New York,PS. Meditating while awaiting. Closing door from time to time.

  • Arminius2

    Nevermore,You will not stand alone.Oddly, there have been no good insults aimed at us tonight. Just 8-year-old playground taunts. Boring.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Correction to previous posting: Should have written “Nanking,” not “Shanghai.”

  • Doug_White

    Mini wrote:”Can you beam down? Apparently I am the only one left here with an IQ above room temperature.”Quick, meet me at the bank in Kelethin. I’ve got a Ring of Illusory Existence you can have. Looks like you’re going to need it.

  • Nevermore531

    Susan,”Most of you did a great job last week of ignoring off-point comments. Keep it up”My apologies to you and the rest of the more intelligent posters. Doug_White brings out the worst in me and it is extremely hard for me to ignore his constant barrage of blather to everyone he doesn’t agree with. He is far less than civil, actually I would call him a bottom feeder if he were a fish.This perverted individual has caused much upheaval on this and other blogs to the consternation of people trying to share ideas and/or views they hold.I hope you don’t hold it against me to defend myself when being called a Nazi among other things.I hope in the future, I will be able to abstain from commenting to this cretin, whose braincells resemble that of a nightcrawler.

  • Arminius2

    Doug the Flaccid plays Everquest. Pity he has not tried WoW – much better.

  • Nevermore531

    Hey Arminius,Did you see that post from Daniel12 where he is asking you about your comment “woman to an army terrible with banners waving”?I told him that it was an excerpt from the Song of Solomon, but you might want to add your own thoughts.

  • Nevermore531

    “Doug the Flaccid plays Everquest. Pity he has not tried WoW – much better”I admit I am lost. What is Everquest?

  • Arminius2

    Nevermore,To get back to topic. The RCs argue that a priest must be celibate to devote his life to God. OK, but… what about the congregation, the community, the people? Is it not possible to devote oneself to God, the people, and a family? Can’t be easy, but I have seen it done in my own church. What say?

  • Doug_White

    “I admit I am lost. What is Everquest?”Nevermind. It is not something a nazi would relate to.

  • Arminius2

    Nevermore,Yes, I owe Daniel a reply. The key here is that an army with banners is impressive, even beautiful – and fearful. So is a beautiful woman to a man who truly loves women – he knows that she holds power over him.As to Everquest – a great game in its time, rather like World of Warcraft, but now totally overshadowed by the latter. Doug or whatever his name really is is welcome to try the game, make any character he wants, and fight my Death Knight. And may he beware.

  • Nevermore531

    Arminius,The Rcs are just covering up why the celibacy came into existance in the first place. And that is to divert more money to Rome, as if they weren’t rich enough already.I was reared Lutheran Protestant so to speak and each and every preacher I ever had was married with children. They seemed to tend to their flock just fine and juggled life between career and family as any other person who works outside the home has to.There is no rhyme nor reason why Catholic priests are not to marry and to remain celibate in addition to that. Yes, maybe it adds to the searching of the soul because they have nothing else to do at night (tongue-in-cheek), but at the same time I believe that you can search your soul just as well after having sex and even have a partner to discuss your thoughts with.Two heads are better than one, and to be able to share your innermost fears and hopes with another person whom you can trust hopefully unconditionally can only enhance the spritualism that priest seek to gain.

  • blasmaic

    There is a shortage of Americans who wish to serve as priests, but there is not shortage of good men who wish to serve as priests.

  • bevjims1

    Doug White wrote: “The simple matter of fact is that none of this is any of your business. You are not a member of the RCC – it is no concern of yours.”Well, its likely that the concentration of pedophile’s in the priesthood is due to the celibacy requirement and the turning of a blind eye by higher ups in the church to known pedophilia was also due to the celibacy rule. Do you also consider drinking and driving only a problem for the drunk driver?As a former catholic I have not seen any good that celibacy has done and I’ve seen much that is bad due to celibacy in and outside the church. How can the RCC evoke homosexuality’s unnaturalness and then require celibacy?

  • Doug_White

    Farnaz wrote:”Is there spring where you live?”YES, thank non-god, yes!! And a new litter of five puppies. We have a wonderful time playing in the grass out back. Little noses learning to smell, little eyes taking everything in, little bodies rolling in the grass and chewing on and chasing each other. I love spring. Especially when there are new scotties with whom to enjoy it.

  • Nevermore531

    I’ve seen your Death Knight, I would want to mess with him!

  • vigor

    Catholics priests are not celibate.If there had been no pedophile crisis, maybe we could have a fair debate over whether priests could/could not marry.But after their HORRENDOUS sexual track record came out, AND the CRIMINAL pattern of passing the perverts around, they have neither the integrity nor the will to make their case for celibacy.Now they are just plain pig-headed and hypocritical.I do not, and will never again, look to them for any kind of spiritual direction.- a former catholic.

  • Doug_White

    Bob2Davis wrote:”Despite the millions that were killed by these dictators, the number pales in comparison with those killed, tortured, maligned and ostracized by the catholics over two thousand years.”Can you offer proof of this statement? Stalin alone may be responsible for the deaths of as many as 80 millions during the course of his reign. I’d like to see evidence that the number killed by catholics even begins to approach that. Not that numbers are the issue, when considering mass murder in the name of any ideology.

  • Nevermore531

    Would Not want to mess with him…..well, maybe a little. LOL!!!

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    In the Catholic Church, Priests are not allowed to marry, for reasons that seem to be lost in the fog of antiquity; otherwise, the Church would issue an authoritative reason, which it cannot do. And in the Catholic Church, sex outside of marriage is FORBIDDEN, something that is a no longer considered a reasonable nor viable opinion by most people. Therefore, in the Catholic Church, Priests are not allowed to marry, and all sexual contact is therefore FORBIDDEN.The point has been raised that Catholic religious customs should not be considered or judged by non-Catholics. First of all, people who were born and raised Catholic, and have become alienated from Catholicsm MOST CERTAINLY may comment on their former religion and why they have walked away from it.Even more, the Catholic Church is intolerant, dominating, and intrusive in all aspects of society. I most certainly do feel every right to comment on any practice of the Catholic Chuch which I do not agree with. The Catholic Church does cause trouble in the world; the Catholic Church divides families, and ruins peoples’ lives. The Catholic Church is one of the most homophobic institutions in the world, with no shame about it, and no signs whatsoever, of admiting this awful sin, nor of every reforming. And on top of this, it is twisted up and disconnected, attracting gay men to its celibate priesthood to hide and conceal their sexual orientation. which the Church would otherwise revile and hate. All ruled, top down, by a an effeminate old gentleman, who is obviously gay, and who doe not have a clue about human nature and human sexuality.

  • akhmadhelmi

    May 15, 2009Thank you much Ms. Jacoby, It was an interesting article.As long as, someone is agaist his/her nature, the unwanted and unpredictable results will be reaped not only by him/herself but also spreading to his/her society.The human ego (iillusion) is the main obstacle of him/her to live as it should be which is follow the nature by surrendering yourself to the Will of God.regard,

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    It is true, of course, that not all priests are celebates. I’ve known actively gay and straight Jesuits. I knew a nun and Jesuit priest who lived openly with one another.However, it is simply wrong to imply that all priests are pedophiles. Simply from a logical perspective, the celibacy requirement is not in and of itself responsible for pedophilia. The turning of a blind eye to priest and nun rapists, to youth counselors who harrassed young female Catholic parishoners, is a problem of Church culture.No Catholic, I, neither formerly, nor at present. I’m a secular Jew, nonobservant. Judaism eschews quietism of every sort.Still, I maintain that the question of celibacy is a matter for Catholics to decide upon.Pedophilia is another matter. It is a crime in this country and should be vigorously prosecuted. Should have been always.The prosecution of pedophile priests in this world began in New York City, following the death of a charismatic cardinal, John Cardinal O’Connor. With his passing, the District Attorney went after them with a vengeance, and persisted, notwithstanding the protests of the Vatican and Cardinal Egan.No sane person should turn a blind eye to child rapists. To any rapists.Celibacy, really, is another matter. Popes and priests, celibate and otherwise, could have, should have gone after child rapists with a vengence, should have done this down through the long, long suffering centuries.Denominational diffierences among the Christians are of no interest whatsoever to the rest of us and are, frankly, not our business.

  • Nevermore531

    WOW, DITLD, why don’t you say exactly how you feel!So were you Catholic at one time? What is it that you so detest about the Church, if I may ask?

  • Arminius2

    Nevermore,What puzzles me most about the RCs, beyond their hopeless stand on birth control, is their insisting to pray through a hierarchy. To saints, or to Mary, etc. I pray to God only. I know that’s not your thing, but that’s where I am at.My Death Knight is a She, and she’s hot, too hot for Doug-what’s-his name, that’s for sure! Boudicca, named after the queen who led a rebellion against Rome in Britain in the 1st Century. Her motto: Don’t F*** with me!

  • Doug_White

    Bevjims1 wrote:”Well, its likely that the concentration of pedophile’s in the priesthood is due to the celibacy requirement”Can you offer any proof to support your supposition?Contrasted to the number of RCC priests world-wide, a microscopically few have been accused of pedophilia.

  • Doug_White

    Bevjims wrote:”Do you also consider drinking and driving only a problem for the drunk driver?”If you are attempting an analogy, it fails. Drinking/drunk drivers are not a religious organization and therefore self-contained. Drunk driving is in no way comparable to celibacy, which simply means ‘unmarried’. Many people are unmarried. It is lawful to be unmarried. It is not lawful to drive while drunk, as so doing constitutes a very clear danger to the public weal. Being unmarried does not.

  • Arminius2

    Hi, Daniel ITLD,Good to see you back. Yes, the argument that people should not criticize the RCC about this subject was directed at me, by non RCCs, because I brought the subject up. The people who condemned my answer did so because they are pissed at me for disagreeing with them. I replied that, well, if we can’t criticize Rome for recruiting pedophiles, we must shut up about the Taliban flogging women in public for minor offenses. They replied with something about basic human rights. I then asked what about the rights of the violated altar boys? They had no answer….

  • Nevermore531

    DITLD:”And on top of this, it is twisted up and disconnected, attracting gay men to its celibate priesthood to hide and conceal their sexual orientation. which the Church would otherwise revile and hate”So what about lesbian women? What do they do with them?My brother’s wife and her family are devout Catholics, save the son who has seen the light.My brother’s wife’s sister is obviously lesbian, but hides her lifestyle very well by leaving the small Bavarian town they live in for trips into other European countries where gay relationships are accepted and not out of the norm. I was told that if her father (an arch-Catholic) ever were to find out it would either kill him or he would completely disown (shun) her.How can a church preach such hatred and split families apart?

  • Nevermore531

    Arminius,You pray not quite to God, you pray through the son as well. Or did I misunderstand earlier conversations?

  • Arminius2

    Nevermore,I pray directly to God. Yes, the ending is often something like ‘…through Christ we pray’. But remember, the Lord’s Prayer has no such ending.

  • Arminius2

    Nevermore,The Prayer of St Francis has no ending like that either. It is really a convention.

  • bevjims1

    Doug White wrote: “Bevjims1 wrote:”Well, its likely that the concentration of pedophile’s in the priesthood is due to the celibacy requirement”113 out of 5000 priests who served in the Los Angeles area between 1940 and 2003 and were accused or convicted of pedophile acts. That’s 2.26%. That is the number that were caught. If you assume that at least half were not caught, that makes about 5% or more of priests pedophiles, much higher than the general population. I’ll agree that exact statistics are not known.

  • YourAffectionateUncle

    Nevermore:”The prayer reeks of hate and discontent.”Thank you. We are pleased immensely pleased by the exquisite discourse we read here On Faith. But what is it, this thing called offense of which you speak?

  • Arminius2

    Nevermore,Please ignore the evil uncle. He is looking for an opening for a backstab. Enough of the bottom feeders.

  • bevjims1

    Doug_White wrote: “Many people are unmarried. It is lawful to be unmarried. It is not lawful to drive while drunk, as so doing constitutes a very clear danger to the public weal. Being unmarried does not.”In the RCC being a priest requires celibacy or you lose your job. A priest may freely agree to this when they become a priest, but if a priest hears the calling to be a priest but also hears nature calling, he is in a delemma. His job is now at stake. So celibacy is not the same as being “unmarried”. It is a job requirement.But the drunk driver analogy was more about society’s caring about bad policy affecting the public. Drunk drivers hurt more than just the drunk driver and that is why it is illegal. The RCC’s requirement for celibacy concentrates pedophiles and has been shown to protect them. Even if those pedophiles kept to just Catholic children all of society should respond. An institution with a policy that increases the risk to children should change its policies and the public has a right to point out the problem and ask that those policies change for the public good. Celibacy has no purpose and has enabled pedophilia. Defending that would be akin to defending drunk driving.

  • ravitchn

    Celibacy encourages the wrong people to enter the priesthood. But don’t imagine that a married priesthood would be the solution. Even archfacist Catholic Bill Donohue can sometimes be right. He has written that plenty of ministers of all religions who marry are caught in flagrante delicto.

  • Nevermore531

    Matt85237:Although I understand your outrage at the other poster, you wrote””The Catholic Church cooperated with the Nazis As a German, I have to tell you that indeed the Catholic Church by proxy of its clery primarily in Bavaria, did indeed side with the Nazis. They urged their parisheners to follow the Nazi leadership unquestionably and hailed just about every move the Nazis made.To condemn the whole RCC for the actions of those priests is obviously wrong, however, the church did leave them free reign at the time. Bavaria, particularly southern Bavaria, is a stronghold of Catholicism with many ancient churches where mass was still celebrated in Latin until the late sixties, early seventies. The priesthood in those parishes identified with their flocks and encouraged them to follow their convictions rather than admonishing them that great evil was being done in the Nation. Hitler’s professed catholicism only aided them in telling the laity to look the other way.I grew up in that part of the country and let me tell you that even today, the church has an enormous stronghold over their faithful.

  • douglaslbarber

    Somewhere beneath the rank miasma of schadenfreude permeating this article lies the rotting corpse of a soul.

  • wbrighton

    My understanding is that celibacy was instituted controll over corruption. Early priests were allowed to have families, until the offices of the church were considered inheritance, even a few popes were father and son. Now you have another example of posssible twisted history becoming the policy from God.

  • Skowronek

    Over the centuries, clerical marriage in the Western Church was part of controversies over ownership of property and whether decisions were made for the good of the Church or the good of a priest’s biological family. It’s always about the money (property).

  • TZiggy

    I find it interesting a self proclaimed Atheist feels she has cogent thoughts on how the Catholic Church should behave to survive. How did Catholicism last this long without you Susan?Here’s a thought, correct me if I’m wrong: Atheist means you don’t believe in God. That would then obviously mean you believe Christ was not divine. Both by definition and by self proclamation Author and reporter Susan Jacoby is “Anti” Christ. (for those who feel the need to respond, please try to restrain yourselves from jumping on this as a proclamation of Satan’s incarnation in the form of Susan Jacoby, that would only serve to further your own self incrimination) Wouldn’t advice from someone “Anti” Christ be anathema to those who truly understand and believe? It’s funny how many intellectuals like Susan despise the Catholic church and feel the need to share their disdain isn’t it? Kind of makes you wonder…Susan, your article is so full of misrepresentations, misunderstandings and out right lies it would be foolish for anyone to begin to try and correct you. You are fooling yourself and in so doing, your leading a pack of intellectually like minded people with you.As for the rest who post “against” Catholic teaching (including those who called themselves “Catholic” at one point in time)You also obviously have no clue whatsoever about Catholicism. Think about why you have such a visceral reaction to Catholic teaching and at least educate yourselves before allowing the world to experience your ignorance. “The pope is gay???” Someone tell me how that is an intelligent comment!I have real news for all who feel the need to criticize the Catholic Church; You will all one day know the truth. Why not make an effort to know it now?

  • Doug_White

    DITLD wrote:”I am not a catholic basher….I do not hate the Pope, who seems gay to me, and I do not hate gay people>”You certainly seem like a basher to me. Now the pope only SEEMS gay to you…. You do not hate gay people, but through some stereotypical perception of/about gays, you attach the label ‘gay’ to a man who represents what you clearly loathe. Well, I am gay, former Episcopalian (which I became AFTER sitting through RC catechism class!) and I have to tell you that from where I sit you clearly ARE bashing catholicism (which, by the way, I think is a many-centuries-old joke) by placing its leader in a category which is loathsome to most of christianity, judaism, and islam.Frankly, this kind of thinking is something I would expect from the neo-nazi.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Context, DITLD, is everything:”All ruled, top down, by a an effeminate old gentleman, who is obviously gay, and who doe not have a clue about human nature and human sexuality.”Know many gay men. Some are what you might call “effeminate,” others not. Know many straight men. Some are what you might call “effeminate,” others not.Polemics is one thing, a strategy for use with bigots, when all else fails. Otherwise, we risk indulging bigotry, ourselves.Religion and politics? The current question does not concern this topic, which is not about religion in the public, i.e., legislative, sphere. To raise secular issues in which the RCC should not be involved is not germaine to the question.This is not to say that the intrusion of organized religions into secular life should not be addressed vigorously on this blog. But then we could not consider the RCC, alone. Fundies, who are trying to end choice, stop gay marriage, thwart stem cell research, would also have to be addressed.They are Protestant, if I’m not mistaken.Personally, I am indifferent to the religions others choose to practice, so long as they do not harm others physically or psychologically, so long as they do not try to impose their vews on others, so long as they do not break laws.Then there are issues, such as the case of Oscar Romero, a true “saint,” if ever there was one, left by the RCC for the vultures, that, admittedly, concern all of humanity.But, again, the RCC, is not alone in such affronts to human decency.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    I find all this Armenian Catholic bashing quite interesting, especially coming from one who said he “had no problem with them [the Catholics]”.It is one thing to use polemics against anyone who targets another group, one thing to use polemics when all else fails. It is quite another to bash a religious group becuase their practices differ from yours.It is one thing to insist that no group has the right to take tax exempt status, then use the funds in an attempt to legislate against abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, and another to lay waste their vaules.It is good to look inside one’s own house. At the anti-Caholic laws in England, for example, which continued through the nineteenth century, at the ongoing prejudice there, among the Anglicans, against the Catholics.It is instructive to look at NOrthern Ireland.It is interesting to note the paucity of Jewish and Muslim Catholic bashers on this thread. Reading this thread, one senses that we will, indeed, all hang separately.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    As for the Catholic Church and “homophobia,” aren’t the Christian Fundamentalists Protestant?

  • ukba

    Catholic bashing is a disease that almost every Protestant carries in their genes and DITLD is no exception. They grow up loathing everything Catholic and especially the pope himself. They forget that being Catholic is just another way of being just as being protestant Christian, Jewish or Muslim. It is not a matter of being better or worse than anyone else, it is just different. Saying the Pope is gay is just another way of a putdown no matter if the accuser is not a gay hating person or not; it is just a social stigma that some people attach subconsciously to others even if they themselves are not homophobic. The question is why state publically that the pope is gay if you have no proof to justify your personal feeling. How do you know that a person is gay? Is there a mark that gay people carry with them to identify them as such? If you’re privy to certain documents or insights, please show us, inquiry minds want to know.

  • daniel12

    To Farnaz from Daniel12. On the subject of woman being comparable to an army terrible with banners–I did not see any posts from you to me about that, but then again I was not looking for such for I was speaking with Arminius.Of course I know that the above subject is from the Bible–I am not entirely stupid. And I contend that anyone who thinks a comparison is there does not know what an analogy, simile, metaphor (choose) is.Woman terrible as an army with banners? At best romantic age ridiculous flattering. I contend that it is the worst insult I have ever heard directed to woman for the simple reason that all throughout history (and speak to Islamic women today) woman has been beaten, raped, killed, treated as a pack animal. She must have wished millions of times for a bit of the power of an army terrible with banners. What an ironic and cruel thing to say to her, that she is as terrible as an army with banners.And on the subject of whether Germany and Japan have changed much since WW2–and more broadly my thesis that sometimes nations can change more radically than even individuals can (for most people think individuals are more flexible, malleable than nations, cultures, etc.)–many people have remarked on the change of the above nations.You contend though that Germany and Japan have not changed much right? And dare I say it?–that the Jews have not changed much since WW2? Never mind that more than one person has used the term apartheid to describe Israel’s policies…So you see, a radical change can occur to an entire people, right? The change in the Jews as much as the change in Germany and Japan, right? Oh wait, now I am antisemite right?Farnaz and Arminius. At the moment two peas in the veritable pod.

  • Doug_White

    UKBA wrote:”The question is why state publically that the pope is gay if you have no proof to justify your personal feeling”I agree completely. The thing, in and of itself PROVEN, is the only relevant point in an argument or discussion.

  • Doug_White

    UKBA wrote:”How do you know that a person is gay? Is there a mark that gay people carry with them to identify them as such?”I don’t know whether catholic bashing is actually genetically encoded in protestants, but it certainly does seem to be a primal force in confronting their own fears.As for marks, do you suppose that is what the three small freckles on my inner right thigh are all about???

  • daniel12

    Daniel12 to Farnaz and Arminius. First, I know the subject we are talking about–whether woman really is as terrible as an army with banners–comes from the Bible. I believe one or both of you took issue with me saying that it is “at best romantic age ridiculous flattering”. If you notice, in the same piece I said it was AT BEST, NOT IS, ridiculous romantic age, etc. etc. I mentioned the Bible as the source. Well I said it is at best ridiculous romantic age flattering and that is what I say now. I know that it is from the Bible and that the Romantic age was not the age the Bible was written in, but at best what was written in the Bible in this regard is romantic age ridiculous flattery–unless you want me to say ridiculous, romantic flattery in the Bible similar to the romantic age nonsense and which contradicts all the celebrations of what can be termed patriarchy in the Bible. God is a he, right? So how really in the final analysis according to Biblical logic can woman be as terrible as an army with banners?Second I still contend that it is the worst insult to women I have ever heard–a supreme piece of irony. One could not be more ironic about what a woman is–unless someone wants to propose a more ironical statement about what a woman is. But be careful. Do not make an obvious contrast–for that defeats the sting of the ironical. In other words, proposing an obvious contrast has less force than whispering to a woman who has been in a bad relationship, for example, “but you are as terrible as an army with banners”.That is all for now.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    I am having difficulty posting on the main thread, or else I would write directly to Persiflage, whose comments I inevitably find perceptive.The problems within the Catholic Church are not due to hermeticism. Regarding celibacy, there are many priests and nuns who actively oppose it as mandate. Some think it a “gift” for a few; others, with an entirely different perspective, view it as a choice, an option that should be left open.I don’t know of any Catholic clergy who oppose it as a choice, though some there may be.No one will win Catholic adherents through the “consciousness-raising” activity of storming the Vatican with criticism. It doesn’t work, never has.Power is at issue, entrenched ideology/theology, etc. Criticizing Catholicism from without will only cause moderates and, certainly, conservatives, to become more conservative, to did in deeper, as we have seen on this blog.If liberal Catholics want the help of outsiders, surely, they will request it. If nuns seeking ordination, priests who seek to end celibacy, clergy who wish to end prohibitions against effective birth control want the input of Jews, Protestants, et al, they will request it one way or another.On the day that happens, if these dissidents are in sufficient number, if the Vatican clamps down on them, revolutionary new paradigmatic energy may manifest itself. Until that time, it simply will not happen.

  • Doug_White

    Farnaz wrote:”If liberal Catholics want the help of outsiders, surely, they will request it. If nuns seeking ordination, priests who seek to end celibacy, clergy who wish to end prohibitions against effective birth control want the input of Jews, Protestants, et al, they will request it one way or another.On the day that happens, if these dissidents are in sufficient number, if the Vatican clamps down on them, revolutionary new paradigmatic energy may manifest itself. Until that time, it simply will not happen. “AMEN! In eternam.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Daniel12Armenius’ reference was not to a work written during the European Romantic period. “[T]wo peas in the veritalbe pod?””Veritable?” Best advice: Be yourself. Don’t try so hard. 4You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love,Btw., Gaby also posted to you on this. Scroll down.

  • Arminius2

    Daniel12,First, Farnaz nicely solved the ‘terrible’ problem by stating that a better translation would be ‘awe-inspiring as an army with banners’.Second, the Song of Solomon is a collection of love songs. I don’t know of any love song that deals with the wretched condition of most women throughout the world. I fail to see any insult here, they are personal in intent.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Doug White,Thanks very, very much for the link! Congratulations on the puppies! Are you going to keep them all?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Daniel12:The Bible was not written during any “romantic age.” I never said you were “stupid,” never thought it. Quite the contrary. I am a woman, and I’m not naive about patriarchy in the Bible. This praise song is layered, magnificent, maybe peerless.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Hello UKBA!Long time, my friend. How are you?Farnaz

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Daniel12,It isn’t that I don’t see your point. The thing is, one cannot visit twenty-first-century politico-interpretive apparatus on ancient texst.The verse Arminius quoted is from one song in a series, and cannot be even superfically grasped in isolation. The Song of Solomon has been interpreted and re-interpreted throughout the centuries and signifies differently among different Judaism as well as among different Christianities. Interestingly, Christian and Catholic sources have drawn on R. Akiva (of the Tanaim) to sanctify th Holy of Holies.Feminist scholars have singled out the Shulamite woman as a symbol of great respect for Woman, in general.The poem breaks down class and gender barriers.The use of contrast, e.g., the stunning presence of the army with banners in this verse, similarities between this text and Egypitan love poetry of the period should not be overlooked.

  • persiflage

    Farnaz – I was unable to locate the Sacred Texts link that you mentioned in an earlier post – apparently didn’t save it and now it’s disappeared. Today I’m inspired by my past (if we have a past). Listening to Buffalo Springfield and their later incarnation known as CCNY -the late 1960’s were a time of hormonal oblivian and unrealistic optimism that is finally returning, if only metaphorically -with the reappearance of Cat Stevens aka Yusuf Islam…this man is a great spirit, made manifest in his music – or am I being sentimental? Maybe it was my non-local circumstances at the time….If there is a great Hermetic spirit, then music must be it’s true and timeless familiar……..

  • persiflage

    Sorry about the CCNY glitch – of course we’re talking about Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – CCNL has apparently found a way into my subliminal realm – but he did recommend a good book.My fondness for various posters here extends to one and all……..

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Persiflage,Is that spirit returning? How welcome we should make it, strew flowers, burn incense, wear love beads, look up, up, up!!Has morning broken? Is it breaking? Like the first morning?Has the freedom train arrived at long, long last? Say yes, Persiflage, please…

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Persiflage,What is the book that CCNL recommended?

  • daniel12

    Ok, I see your points Farnaz and Arminius. I can live with them.To Persiflage, thanks for your post on the main site–I did read it. Also I love Crosby, Stills and Nash–and of course them with Young. There are also a few good bootlegs of CSNY. Check on the net. Some people will send them to you for only blank cdrs (you send, for example, six blanks and the person records three shows on three cds for you and keeps the other three for himself). I have four boxes of cdrs in paper sleeves of such shows (by various artists). I am pretty big into music–all types (jazz, classical, rock, Indian, etc.).

  • Nevermore531

    Daniel ITLD:”I was born and raised Methodist, and I do not detest the Catholic Church. I have complaints with the Catholic Church and criticisms of it. “Fair enough! I have my own beef with the Catholic Church simply bacause I am impacted by them via family connections. I try to be tolerant, but it is very hard at times when listening to their dogma.

  • Doug_White

    Farnaz1″Thanks very, very much for the link! Congratulations on the puppies! Are you going to keep them all?”Nongod NO! They were all sold before they were born.

  • Nevermore531

    Persiflage,That is my kind of music!But so are the Moody Blues, Santana, The Who, etal.And, believe it or not The Mamas and the Papas.

  • persiflage

    Farnaz – the book is ‘Biocentrism’ by Lanza and Berman.I was and still am somewhat naive – I wondered if Cat Stevens was some kind of avatar at the time. A musician friend of mine actually sung ‘Morning has Broken’ when I was married in the local Presbyterian Church (although raised Catholic, I was by that time kind of a Zennist). Sometimes avatars are the last to know – great music at any rate. The marriage lasted one year – the circumstances are disreputable….wonder if I should have chosen Joe Cocker instead??

  • persiflage

    Nevermore – I have them all…..

  • Doug_White

    Persiflage:”wonder if I should have chosen Joe Cocker instead?? “mmmm…..I think he is already married.

  • Nevermore531

    Ziggy:”I have real news for all who feel the need to criticize the Catholic Church; You will all one day know the truth. Why not make an effort to know it now?”But, Ziggy, all religionists tell me that very same thing. That one day I will see the truth. The question is who is right and who is wrong. You say you have the truth, DITLD says he has the truth, Wiccan’s truth is her truth, Farnaz’s is her truth, and my truth is my truth. Even the Gollum believes he has some truth.So all I have to say is you *believe* you have the truth and in the end it will all come out in a wash. I’ll take my chances and you take yours. I somehow believe that not a single human is totally right about their “truth”.

  • Nevermore531

    Persiflage,They don’t make music like that anymore! Did we grow up in an inspired age or what?Seems nowadays most songs mirror each other, I rarely hear anything original any more?Maybe it’s just me stuck in the 60’s and 70’s.

  • persiflage

    Dammit Doug, I should have known you were going to say that – Ok then, a song from Joe Cocker’s collected works. How about his cover of ‘With A Little Help from my Friends’? I could have used it a bit later on, when one of my very good friends was found ‘in delecto’ boffing my beloved bride…….still and all, not necessarily a good wedding song. In fact, I also had a rendering of Paul Stookey’s Wedding Song as well – what a beautiful tune! Paul Stookey was, in my opinion, the great creative force in PPM -and an extraordinary singer and guitarist.Nevermore – here’s my challenge….if you have Gene Pitney in your collection, you’re right with Jesus – who can forget

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Persiflage,Joe Cocker? As in “My baby, she wrote me a letter”?Prefer Chilton, The Box Tops (Spelling)Or, did you mean something else?I think we need a new music revolution to accompany a new morning….The revolution may not be televised, but will need a soundtrack nonetheless, methinks.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    “How about his cover of ‘With A Little Help from my Friends’? I could have used it a bit later on, when one of my very good friends was found ‘in delecto’ boffing my beloved bride…….still and all, not necessarily a good wedding song””Say it ain’t so,” she said in disbelief. Not at the wedding, surely. What is this with best friends and girlfriends/boyfriends, anyway? Quite the theme here, it seems. ‘nuf to make a person downright cynical.Gene P., yes, great voice!

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Last post should have been addressed to Persiflage.

  • Doug_White

    Persiflage:”I could have used it a bit later on, when one of my very good friends was found ‘in delecto’ boffing my beloved bride…….still and all, not necessarily a good wedding song.”You are a better man than I. I’d have used a gun.

  • Nevermore531

    Daniel12:” In other words, proposing an obvious contrast has less force than whispering to a woman who has been in a bad relationship, for example, “but you are as terrible as an army with banners”.”Sorry, but I had to laugh!Translating a another language can be very difficult and at times impossible because of the idioms used in the original tongue.For example: In English we say “It’s raining cats and dogs”, if I were to translate that literally into German they shake their heads in disbelieve and would laugh at me. In Germany the saying is “Es regnet Schnuersenkel”, which translates to “It’s raining shoelaces”, which would make no sense to an American.In essence what I am trying to tell you, translations don’t always make sense and maybe the Song of Solomon makes as much sense to you and others as raning shoelaces. Or vice versa as raining cats and dogs. Never seen that before either. Rain is water and has nothing to to with cats, dogs, or shoelaces for that matter.

  • Doug_White

    Persiflage:”How about his cover of ‘With A Little Help from my Friends’?”Very amusing. You are a bit of a cynic, which is the only way to remain sane in my opinion.

  • Arminius2

    Nevermore and Persiflage,Let us not forget CCR, Led Zeppelin, King Crimson, many others, and, above all, Jimi Hendrix. Also Jesus Christ Superstar.

  • persiflage

    Farnaz – you’re impressive (as always) – are you really from Iran??? My personal feeling is that you are actually an inculcation of the ancient Zoroastrian tradition – I am only marginally kidding, since you know something of my orientation about past lives. This certainly goes to Jungian considerations. The Boxtops did the original on ‘She wrote me a letter’ and this falls into the category of a one hit wonder, since they died shortly thereafter – but Cocker apparently also did a cover on this tune as well. Actually Doug, I didn’t truly find out about what the beautiful bride was up to until many years later – I suspected a weasel in the henhouse, but circumstances prevented me from knowing the full details until much later. Her relationships continued to fail as I discovered much later, after the divorce. The 1960’s revisited ain’t going to happen – cultural cynicism is endemic – while most of us are happy to have Obama, certain fundamentals will not change…the arrow of time continues to move forward.

  • Nevermore531

    Persiflage:My personal favorites…Run Run Roadrunner, Louisiana Mama, Twenty-four Sycamore, Shady Lady….

  • Nevermore531

    Arminius:And Aquarius, Tommy, Hair….I had a wonderful LP of Tommy that paired many artists, it wasn’t performed by The Who alone. I lost it through the many moves, but would love to find the CD if anyone has a clue. I have looked far and wide, but have yet to come up with the rendition I had.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    you guys have left out the two best (and wildly different): frank zappa and the greatful dead.

  • Nevermore531

    Bummer, now I am talking off topic again and Susan will have my hide!Kind of reminds me of our executive meetings at work that were supposed to last no more than an hour but went on forever because people always became side-tracked. Shame on me!

  • teamuse

    Regarding my post below that there are many priests who find celibacy to be a source of grace in their lives — see Fr. Kevin O’Brien’s essay on this site:

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    i’m not sure it’s completely off topic – i’ve had my most religious experiences at grateful dead shows….

  • persiflage

    Arminius – I still like Creedance, but was more generally oriented toward acoustic music back in the day – folkies from England and the British Isles are still very well represented in my music collection.Farnaz – I think I should apologize for the Iran remark should it have been taken wrongly – I know the followers of the Zoroastrian faith are persecuted in Iran, and I don’t wish to contribute to that negative energy in any way. In my view, this is an noble and ancient religion, although outsiders and marriage outside the faith are completely disallowed – like the Roma, this will ultimately end in cultural extinction and that’s a terrible loss.

  • persiflage

    Walter – that probably means that you had to sit through Jimmy Buffett – who used to be pretty good.

  • Arminius2

    Walter,”I’m not sure it’s completely off topic – i’ve had my most religious experiences at grateful dead shows….”As much as I love rock, then and now, anything I have had resembling a religious experience has always occurred in a classical concert or opera. Color me geek….God, I miss the wonderful conversations about music that I had with Mr Mark.

  • TZiggy

    “But, Ziggy, all religionists tell me that very same thing. That one day I will see the truth. The question is who is right and who is wrong. You say you have the truth, DITLD says he has the truth, Wiccan’s truth is her truth, Farnaz’s is her truth, and my truth is my truth. Even the Gollum believes he has some truth”.NEVERMORE: With all due respect, you don’t get it.

  • Nevermore531

    Walter:Religious experiences at the Grateful Dead??? LOL!!!OK, now I can’t help myself I just have to post this:A priest offered a Nun a lift.She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg.The priest nearly had an accident.After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg.The nun said, ‘Father, remember Psalm 129?’The priest removed his hand, but, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again.The nun once again said, ‘Father, remember Psalm 129?’The priest apologized ‘Sorry sister but the flesh is weak.’Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily and went on her way.On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129. It said, ‘Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.’Moral of the story:If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    Arminius2,it’s kind of funny because i don’t know many people who like both the dead and zappa. zappa, contrary to popular opinion is (was…) a very serious talented funny (yes, serious and funny at the same time) composer and musician. people know him from the few silly “hits” he had and kind of lump him in with weird al yankovic, but he was SO much more than that. the dead is just music that moves me spiritually.persiflage,

  • persiflage

    Arminius and Nevermore – most folks just won’t understand the bond that Medicare and music invokes in our emerging seniors (us?) – Typically, I see people that are 80 and beyond on a daily basis, so where else can I find people that actually heard Lady Madonna as a hit single? I was in Clovis, NM at the time – my reporting date was November 22, 1963. Now that was a date to remember…..

  • Doug_White

    An orthodox rabbi, a Baptist minister and pope Benedict XIV all died the same day.They arrived in heaven together, and were ushered straight from the gates to god’s office, for an interview.The rabbi went in to talk to god first. 20 minutes later, he came out wringing his hands and weeping and saying “How could I have been so wrong!”The Baptist minister went in next, and after a short interview with god, he came out wringing his hands and weeping and saying “How could I have been so wrong!”Then Benedict/Ratzinger went in for his once-over. Within minutes, god came out, wringing his hands and weeping and saying “How could I have been so wrong!”

  • Nevermore531

    Ziggy:Sorry I can’t follow into your realm of truth. Simply because it is not the truth, it is what you believe to be true. Quite a difference between the two.There is a proven truth, that once you are born you will surely die, the almost proven truth that once you earn money you will sure pay taxes, and the unproven truth that once you die you will surely find god. Maybe all you will find is worms in your body, and maybe what you will find is the glorious hereafter you seem to seek. In either case, the worms in all likely are true, the glorious is a maybe.

  • persiflage

    Walter – my fondest experiences with the Grateful Dead were WAY back in the day of ‘Workingman’s Dead’ and ‘American Beauty’. Jerry Garcia was kind of genius in his own way – for many touring years prior to Garcia’s death, Jimmy Buffett was the opening act. It seemed to be the ultimate symbiotic musical relationship – Deadheads are more than likely to have a fair number of Parrotheads lingering in their midst……When I first heard Buffett in the very early 1970’s, I never would have imagined his longevity – but his engaging personality, incredible marketing acumen, and real talent, took him to a place experienced by few musicians – including Cat Stevens, who had infinitely more to say, and was a damn sight better on the guitar. So it goes – Allah or Mammon……

  • Nevermore531

    Yes, Persiflage, that is a day to remember! I watched the history channel the other day and they had a special on the Kennedy family, which of course included the assassination and funeral and it still seems like yesterday….

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    persiflage,

  • Nevermore531

    OK, guys and gals, I’m out of here for a while.So much to do, so little time….plus computer is acting up (technology at its finest, yet such a bother at times)….Have to run scanware and reboot!

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    ‘Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.’LOL….ohhh…THAT’S what that verse means…now i get it…

  • persiflage

    Nevermore – and a trauma the nation still feels, considering what followed in 1968 – the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. What a decade that was – while Don McLean’s ‘American Pie’ was alleged to be about Buddy Holly’s death, the ‘day the music died’ was equally about the entire tragedy of that decade from 1960-1970. Oddly, I don’t think I’ve ever felt more youthfully alive than the 1960’s.Ignorance is bliss……but not forever.

  • Arminius2

    Persiflage,Funny about that, isn’t it? Me too. Yes, the tragedy. I will never forget that grim day in November, when America stopped dead in its tracks for three days and wept.And a funny thing about youth. Sure, at 66 now, I wish I had known things then that I know now. But the converse is also true – I wish that I did not know now some things that I did not know then.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    uh…guys…maybe that’s at least partly because you WERE youthful 40 yrs ago…

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    GabyYou asked if I were Catholic and why I “detest the Catholic Church.”For example, I said this in my previous post:”The Catholic Church is intolerant, dominating, and intrusive in all aspects of society.” What about this statement is not true?When I say the Pope is gay, I do not say it because I hate the Pope, nor do I hate gay people. I feel sorry for the Pope’s profound confusion on these things and I love gay people. The transformation of this simple observation into an interpretation of “Catholic basing” demonstrates the unending confusionn of Catholicism. It is the current Catholic position that gay people are “intrinsically disordered” not sinful, not sick, not diseased, not mentally ill, but just God’s mistake. What a mean spirit is this cleverly deviseed legal term, “intrinsically disordered.” It is designed to deliver the maximun hurt, yet pretend the least malice. What wicked pretentiousness!The Catholic Church freely involves itself in poliics. The Church wants to control everything, as it did in the past. But those days are gone forever. I criticize the Catholic Church as I feel called upon to do. If the Catholic Church cannot tolerate the push-back of non-Catholics, then it should bow out of its involvemnet of non-Catholic matters. Aside from all of this, the main “Catholic bashers” are Catholics, themselves. It is their civil war, which they enact on a public stage for all to see; I merely have choosen a side.

  • persiflage

    Arminius – our knowledge grows as the body fails…if nature works as it should. In my experience, and my interaction with people is continuous, older does not mean wiser. Sad to say, religion does not make much of a difference – you and I live in a part of the country where conventional religion is paramount. I don’t see wisdom emerging from religious practice or belief. Religion equals social behavior, and nothing more. Your religious discoveries are your very own, as they are with Thomas Baum – as are mine. In my view, sacred knowledge is very much an individual enterprise – the paradox is that we think we can share, when we cannot. The deeper paradox is that there is nothing to share – in my view. A profound mystery indeed…..

  • Arminius2

    True, Walter – but the 60’s were unique.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Yes, the sixties were unique, perhaps, in history, since what happened here resonated everywhere. Alas, I missed them.They sometimes woefully remark, “Look what they had, and look what we have.”Some contemporary stuff is very good, but there was a harmony of music, politics, ideals, hope, rightious anger, love–What a time you must have had!

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    Arminius2,anyway, guys,since we’ve moved away from the catholic business, and persiflage said, “I don’t see wisdom emerging from religious practice or belief. Religion equals social behavior, and nothing more.”do you think society would be “better” with or without religion? (i suppose that question presupposes all religions are false…or that we are not able to discern the true one [what if it was baalism, and we let it go extinct!]) i mean, what if we “worshipped” philosophy instead? would that be “satisfying” enough for people?

  • persiflage

    Walter – Please!! What are you, 45 or something??! My daughter’s age – she can’t even relate to anything older than Fleetwood Mac – she missed Sam Cook altogether…..imagine Otis Redding singing ‘The Dock of the Bay’ in the first person…..now you’ve got something.The guitarist, Memphis Steve Cropper, still remembers…….

  • Doug_White

    WalterInFallsChurch:”do you think society would be “better” with or without religion? “Thats an interesting question. I can’t think of a society anywhere, that has survived for more than a few months, that didn’t have some sort of religion.Bertrand Russell said (words to this effect) that if a nuclear holocaust flattened the surface of the earth, leaving no stone upon stone, the first thing surviving man would do would be to gather the stones and build an altar.

  • Arminius2

    Persiflage,My kids are 23 and 20, and both can relate well to the music of the 60’s and 70’s. As to wisdom. Being of an age, I sometimes am accused of being ‘wise’. My stock answer is from the Kansas song: “And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don’t know”.My religion does not give me conventional wisdomn per se. I think it does open me up to learning about it, though, from other sources.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Persiflage,She’d probably like the Mamas and the Papas. Don’t know how old she is, but try “Like a Rolling Stone.” My mother went to college in New York City, “turned” me on to Dylan, decades later. Also early Simon and Garfunkel. Also the first Doors album. Other stuff.So, I became interested in American popular culture. Persiflage, did you serve overseas?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    “the first thing surviving man would do would be to gather the stones and build an altar.”persiflage,

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    as much as i’d like to think society would be bettor off without religion, i’m not so sure. now i am pretty sure the world would be better off without islam.

  • persiflage

    Farnaz – yes, I listened to Barry Mcguire singing the ‘Eve of Destruction’ in Vietnam in 1965 – and was becoming a better pool player day by day in the Airman’s Club….since we thought we were out of harm’s way, life was fairly easy – until the airbase was assaulted. Life became more precious after that….thinking about my ‘bullet proof’ attitude in those bad old days – followed me for many years afterward. Death was never lurking, despite seeing lots of it. In those days, anyone could have been killed at any moment. I don’t take this wartime stuff seriously, but I know tons of people that are still living vicariously from their soldiering days 30 and 40 years ago. Utter nonsense, I say. Most will die in their sleep in either the hospital or a nursing home…….by then, the good old days will be remembered by… no one at all.The Wall is more than a metaphor of war in Washington, D.C. – it’s our reality….for each and everyone.

  • persiflage

    Walter – you can’t be blamed for being only 44…certainly not by me. I know people that are much younger…and not their fault either! As that famous Zen koan goes – ‘what was your original face before your parents were born?’ …. and it still gives me a headache! You would have liked Bob Dylan in the 1960’s…..the man is deservedly a cultural icon – but like I said, do avatars really have a choice?I see Farnaz has discovered the music of Julian Bream – now there is true genius……

  • TZiggy

    Nevermore:And so the conversation goes round and round, but you still miss the point. Truth is what it is. Death, taxes, decay… all true. The great hereafter, no need to debate. That wasn’t necessarily my point (although I believe). The point is that whether God, Heaven or Hell exists or does not is not subject to “our” opinion. As with my post in regards to Ms. Jacoby’s article; her ill conceived stabs at Catholicism reveal an ignorance I find harder and harder to stomach the more I read. Her mind limps.

  • Arminius2

    Persiflage,Yes, yes indeed. I have two Walls in my military history. The first, which I believe I have mentioned to you before, was the Berlin Wall. I learned to hate it. This was 1970. Twenty years later I visited the Wall in DC. Walking up to it on a hot July afternoon, I thought that it looked like a complete loss. Wrong. I went down into it, and entered another world, one where the sounds of the city went away, one peopled by men in wheelchairs making tracings of names, by women leaving notes or flowers. I knew then that I stood on holy ground, and by the time I reached the bottom, I had broken down. I am not ashamed to admit that. Hell, I am proud of it.

  • persiflage

    Arminius – my experience exactly….it just happens.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    persiflage,TZiggy,but as others have asked, how can you be sure you’ve “picked” the right belief? is it something you “just know”? i mean, there are 1000s of incompatible beliefs out there, with adherents who also “just know” they’ve got the right beliefs.forgive me if i’m wrong, but i don’t think you subscribe to the “many paths up the same mountain” idea, right?

  • Doug_White

    DITLD wrote:”ruled, top down, by a an effeminate old gentleman, who is obviously gay,”A very interesting accusation. You have proof of this, I hope? I’d like to know what it is.

  • Doug_White

    DITLD wrote:”It is their civil war, which they enact on a public stage for all to see; I merely have choosen a side.”It is THEIR civil war…yet you, a non-catholic,have choosen [sic] a “side”????You sound very threatened.

  • Arminius2

    “Farnaz and Arminius. At the moment two peas in the veritable pod.”Er, Daniel12, mind explaining that one? And as far as the ‘terrible as an army with banners’ thing, I am quite aware of the miserable condition of women in history and today. I was taking the verse at a personal level, as it mirrored my own experiences. I meant it as a complement, and a high one.And Farnaz, thanks for the ‘awe-inspiring’ rendition. It fits much better.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    I am not a Catholic basher, and I do not hate Catholics or the Catholic Church. I do not hate the Pope, who seems gay to me, and I do not hate gay people, and do not use this observation of the Pope as a homophobic slur, but more to point out Catholic hypocrisy, that the Church attavches a harsh sitgma to people who are gay, yet the Pope himself, and many Priests are gay. So how can this possibly make sense to any sensible person?I have many Catholic friends, neighbors, co-workers, and aquaintances. I have Catholic inlaws and nieces and nephews. None of these people promote the kind of arrogant Catholic dogma that we sometimes see in posts on this blog. ALL OF THEM, with no exceptions, seem to have a great struggle with their religeious life. Being a Catholic in modern America is a burdern. I feel bad for all of these burdened people, who must struggle with this albatross of a religion, and who can never seem to unwind its knotted up, twisted dogma. And I feel sorry for the Catholic Church as an organization, tattered and dilapidated, crumbled and faded, a ruin of the ancient world, still struggling onward out of it immense inertia. It is a sad and pitiful site.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    It is not possible to take a single Catholic issue and discuss it in separation and isolation from all other Catholic issues. A discssion of one issue leads to others. Discussion of Priestly celebacy leads to the subject of birth control, and of divorce. And so it goes in an unending chain of concerns, none of which are open for discussion. And so each person is forced to work their won way. And seeking to do that, even that is condemned as sinful.It is a symphony, that must be taken as a whole, but a not symphony that places in harmoney.The Catholic Church is a harsh and noisey cacophony, which does not comfrot people, but causes nuch suffereing in the world.Thses are my opinions and criticisms. I do not expect the Catholic Church to go away or reform any time soon. I do believe that it will gradually wind down, and loose more an more of its position in the world, probably over the next century or two.

  • Nevermore531

    I see, Arminius! No matter what, this trinity thing will never wash with me.Either there is three of them and they are all separate entities, or two of them don’t exist, or none of them exist and all is wishful thinking.I don’t reall know the Lord’s prayer any more, I have forgotten.This is were we differ. But that does not mean that I do not respect you or your faith, my friend. We each must seek our own path and live by our own truths.My path doesn’t include a Biblical God, as you know, but it does include spiritualism and the firm believe that good will always win over evil. The vast majority of humans are good, decent people, the others will get their just desserts one way or another.Don’t worry about uncle, I told him in no uncertain words what I thought! If he didn’t get it then he won’t get it now!Anyhow it’s late! See you tomorrow, maybe?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    On the Song of SolomonAs the Talmud explains, there was considerable debate as to whether or not these verse chapters should be included in the Bible. The problem was solved, one reads, by R. Akiva, of the Tanaim, who read the verses allegorically, as an expression of the love of God for Israel (the people). This is a very broad statement. More specifically, the male figure in this reading represents descriptions of God, the female of God’s descriptions of Israel. In rabbinic tradition, these are the words, figuratively speaking, that God spoke to Israel either at the Reeds Sea, at Sinai, or at the Tent of Meeting.The church fathers adopted the Targum (explanation of Hebrew scriptures in Aramaic), superceding the love of God for Israel by the love of God for the Church. And so it went through the centuries.The best translation I’ve ever seen of the lines in question is “awesome as bannered hosts”Awesome, awesome meaning “awe-inspiring.”The meaning of the Hebrew has always been uncertain. Christian translaters used armies, of course, but, frankly, it doesn’t quite fit. Some kind of allusion to nation, in a liminal sense, might be better, given the mention of banners in other chapters.The Song is remakable, whether taken naturalistically or allegorically, for its stunning use of imagery, parallelism, shifts from praise to adjuring, first to third person, earth to heaven to rural to urban, etc. The chapter in question is whimsical, playful as many scholars have noted, and is best read in context. Throughout the Song, the woman is the more active figure.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Here is a the woman speakingSong of Solomon 31 “On my bed night after night I sought himIt is an amazing thing to read, experience. It makes clear the very nonGreek monism of the Bible. There was no body/soul division, only outer and inner.PERSIFLAGE, How to try to see this view in relation to Zen?!

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Persiflage,You mention Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction.” I know that the US has a long tradition of what might broadly becalled “protest songs,” but was McGuire’s the first on that era?Farnaz

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    UKBA”Gay bashing is a disease that almost ery Catholic carries in their genes and you are no exception.”For you and for Farnaz, I have plenty of criticisms for Protestants which I have voiced here many times. Both of Your complaints that I am a Catholic basher are disingenuous. The question here was about Priestly Celebacy of the Roman Catholic Church. And whenever there is a criticism of the Catholic Church, Catholics complain that “their” church and “their” religion is no one else’s business.But that is not true. The Catholic Church is highly intrusive into “everyone else’s business” so the gloves are off, aren’t they?I believe the Pope is gay. I do not need anymore proof for this belief than you have for any of your anti-gay beliefs. It is what I believe, because it is obvious to me. It is not obvious to you, because your church is dominatingly homo-phobic, and it would present a difficulty of belief to face the fact the Pope is gay.Not only is the Pope gay, many priests are gay. Not only are many priest gay, but then entire aesthitics of Roman Catholicism throughout the ages has been highly influenced by gay men in the architecdture and interior design of churches, in the presentation and layout of rituals, and in clerical attire, even in priestly celeibacy.The current Pope is obviously gay. If you do not see it, and if you do not accept it, then that is your choice and your problem. You cannot acknowledge this because you hate gay men. And you cannot imagine that I would observe that a man is gay, without hating him. Yes, some of do not hate gay men, and some of do not regard it as an insult to be called gay, but merely an observation.I love gay people. Can you that, without qualifcation? No, I am sure you cannot. The most you could say is that you “love the sinner but hate the sin.” Sorry, but that is not good enough; that is not Christian.Homophobia is not Christian; it has nothing to do with Christ nor anything that Christ taught. The Pope is gay, but that is not what is wrong with him; what is wrong with him is that he has labeled gay people as being “intrinsically disordered.”In all of your trashing of my opinion, you have not answered a single criticism, other than to say that I have no right to cdriticize what I “do not understand.”But, as difficult as it is for you to understand, I DO understand; that is the problem.And Farnaz: you do not have credibility on this issue, because you have used the accusation “gay” as a slur against others in the past on this blog.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    DITLD,You accuse me of being “anti-gay.” There is nothing in my posts, at any time in the years I’ve blogged here that is “anti-gay.” Quite the contrary. I have been passionately outspoken about gay rights to full citizenship, against “gay bashing.” I challenge you to find any posting of mine that can be otherwise characterized.I never said you were a “Catholic basher.”The Pope’s gayness or lack thereof is irrelevant to the question posed on the blog. However, that you determine a person’s sexuality by his “effemincacy” shows alarming naivete. Many, many straight men are what you would call “effeminate.”When one is assaulted by bigoted posts, when education, explanation fail, it is appropriate to respond in kind, since that is the only language bigots comprehend.The matter of Catholic clerical celibacy is not an instance of such a case.I might add, that if the Pope is gay, that, for Catholicism, is acceptable, so long as he does not have sex, which he could not do at all events.Finally, what difference does it make, what does it have to do with this discussion, that IMHO, is none of our business?I doubt that UKBA, Doug White, and I are alone in wanting to understand, but, frankly, sometimes, it is better just to reflect. There was nothing aggressive in my original post. I find it interesting that three who took exception here were Zen, Jewish, and Muslim, respectively. (Though I am nonobservant, more interested in Buddhism, at the moment!)Farnaz

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    DITLD,You would do better to reflect on what others have written on your comments on the Pope and gayness than to launch into sophistry, ad hominem attacks, etc. Every decent atheist will tell you the same.If you reread my original post to you, perhaps, upon reflection, you will read it differently.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    DITLD,Last on this: I did not say you were anti-gay, and I did not say you were a “Catholic basher.”Said to see this comment of yours here, DITLD. Maybe, you are just in a bad mood.Me, I’m still looking at the Rose of Sharon.Farnaz

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Persiflage,You mention Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction.” I know that the US has a long tradition of what might broadly becalled “protest songs,” but was McGuire’s the first on that era?Farnaz

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    A note to the Cosmos:Gay does not equal “effiminate.”Lesbian does not equal “masculine.”Minority sexualities disrupt conventional thinking on the false masculinity/femininity dicholtomy. Worth considering.When they, along with the rest of the Minorities, are no longer Minoritized, when we all recognize the jail cells that define traditional identifying categories, we will be free. But first, we must see from the inside out, or come as close to that vision as possible, not from OUR inside. Not from ours.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Persiflage,Thanks very much for the post and the links! Yes, the sufi tradition is rich in such imagery, of course. The Song of Solomon has quite a bit in common with Egyptian love poetry of the period, about which Onofrio, no doubt, knows quite a bit.Among the most American protest songs I’ve ever heard is the one whose lyrics I paste below. Years ago, the elderly grandfather of a friend of mine sang this to us. I never forgot it.Brother, Can You Spare a Dime,” lyrics by Yip Harburg, music by Jay Gorney (1931)They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob, Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time. Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell, Say, don’t you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time. Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell, Say, don’t you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.

  • daniel12

    To Nevermore from Daniel concerning the subject of whether woman can be compared to an army terrible with banners–your points were good. I agree much probably has been lost in translation so it really is ridiculous for me to criticize whether such a comparison between woman and an army terrible with banners makes sense. I used to read poetry translated into English from various languages, but I do not do so anymore. So much is lost in translation that I prefer to stick with poets in English lest I become influenced in my writing by essentially translations and not the poetry itself. Of course just sticking with English poets is an obvious limitation, but I have found some good poets in English–of course Emily Dickinson (she taught me how to use the dash which I use more than the average person); also Wallace Stevens is a favorite; E.E. Cummings–the usual poets I suppose. I am not that sophisticated when it comes to poetry. I find Shakespeare and Chaucer interesting because in a sense they are foreign poets (because of the changes in the English language). It may sound strange, but they are foreign poets I do not need translated into English because I understand them, I speak their language–it is just that their language is close to the origins of our English…On another subject–music. Yes, Frank Zappa is terrific and underrated–a great guitarist and everything. I have some excellent bootlegs by him and the concerts especially between 1973-78 are terrific. His fluency and improvisational power are on full display on the 11/17/74 bootleg. The “Eyes of Osaka” bootleg from ’76 is also good. And Zappa was reknowned for his halloween shows.Steve Cropper–another great guitarist. Rory Gallagher–another underrated guitarist. I have a bunch of Rory bootlegs. Last night I listened to Van Halen on the tour for their second album in L.A. It was good, and the guy I got it from added five astounding Hendrix demos to make up the rest of the cassette. Those demos possibly contain the best Hendrix singing–not guitar playing, that goes without saying–I have ever heard. And I have a bunch of Hendrix boots. I have boots by a bunch of bands with great guitarists…I love music.

  • Arminius2

    Ah, yes, 60’s protest songs. Don’t forget ‘Vietnam Rag’ by Country Joe and the Fish. Blistering – premiered at Woodstock, I think.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Persiflage,Yes, Springsteen. How much he resonated with Americans. Still does. If we look back from now to the sixties, is there anyone we can put in his category?Was he a kind of breath of Spring air, musically?Some posted on the Grateful Dead. You know, I know some former Deadheads (although I’m told, once a Deadhead, always a Deadhead), who tell me that the Dead’s concerts drew multi-generational audiences. Amazing.There was or is a Ben & Gerry ice cream flavor dubbed “Cherry Garcia.”:+)

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Country Joe and the Fish? Don’t think I know about them….

  • daniel12

    Things are starting to get back to normal here on Jacoby’s site. By normal I mean everyone tearing one another to pieces for more or less good reasons–not just tearing into one another for nothing. The conversation is picking up. All we need for things to really get back to normal are Timmy and Pam…

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Persiflage,Stopped by the Poetseers site. Wonderful. I’m bookmarking all the Buddhist-related sites you post this time, so I’ll have them at the ready!Farnaz

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Arminius,Re: Country Joe Mcdonald Feel Like I’m Fixing To Die Rag (next Stop Vietnam) lyrics”Good God, this should have been the people’s theme song while the Bush/Cheney regime fanned the flames of this, our current, conflagration.Powerful, powerful art. Yes, please try to remember the lyrics you wrote.

  • Arminius2

    Protest songs – how could we forget Alice’s Restaurant?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Watched video. Everyone should watch it. All those beautiful young people, who not only got it but weren’t going to take it.Where are they now? Where are we all. Went to Wikipedia for bio on Country Joe.”In the fall of 2005, political commentator Bill O’Reilly compared McDonald, a veteran of the United States Navy,[3] to Cuban President Fidel Castro, remarking on McDonald’s involvement in Cindy Sheehan’s protests against the Iraq War.[4]”

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    farnaz,no doubt, all ages, and for years on end. the old guys would tell us about the time they saw them here or there way back in whatever year. the dead were also unique in that the PROMOTED bootlegs. they had a special ideally-located section for “tapers”. imagine that?! other places search you to make sure you don’t have recording devices… part of the whole experience was the time between the shows. i’d go to several shows in a row at a venue, camp out or sleep in the car…wake up, hung over, walk around play hackysack. did this many times…i’m better now…but all it takes is a few strands of “scarlet begonias” or whatever to get me dancing (at least internally).

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Walter-in-fallschurch,Promoted bootlegs! Now, that really is something…!

  • Arminius2

    Farnaz,I have the revised version now. The stupid site is blocking it. I’ll try rewording, but I can’t find anything really offensive there.

  • Doug_White

    Farnaz:”I doubt that UKBA, Doug White, and I are alone in wanting to understand, but, frankly, sometimes, it is better just to reflect.”Thou sayest a true thing!

  • Doug_White

    DITLD:It is you who are disingenuous. You did not originally say “I believe the Pope is gay. I do not need anymore proof for this belief than you have for any of your anti-gay beliefs.” Your statement was “…the Pope who is obviously gay.” I asked you to prove this comment, you didn’t, of course, and now you have changed your wording.What is the saying: “…hoist on your own petard.”

  • Doug_White

    Nevermore The Neo Nazi wrote:”but older does mean more experienced.”No, it does not. Older means OLDER.

  • persiflage

    Farnaz – back in the day, I was a big PPM fan and have about a dozen of their CDs – they did a memorable version of ‘Brother, Can you Spare a Dime?’…… Virtually every one of their tunes was crafted to near musical perfection – including live performances. Who can forget ‘ If I Had a Hammer’? Or ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’, a big Byrds hit said be based on Ecclesiastes…or ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone?’ – all three are Pete Seeger tunes. The great dustbowl protester Woody Guthrie not only fathered Arlo, but was an early Bob Dylan inspiration……Less than 6 degrees of separation all around 🙂

  • Arminius2

    Persiflage,Yes, PPM. And let us not forget the great songs of the Civil Rights Movement, like “Blowing in the Wind”, as done by PPM. Also, “We Shall Overcome”. I read once that Martin Luther King lost his cool and broke down only once. He and LBJ had worked hard to craft the Civil Rights legislation, so when Johnson gave a prime time speech announcing this, and actually said, before God, America, and the world, “We shall overcome”, MLK, who was watching the speech on TV, broke down and wept.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Arminius,Your lyrics are perfect. Literally. They should be recorded and made available on the web. I’ve already pasted them to Word and saved them. Farnaz

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Persiflage,Don’t think I ever heard PPM’s version of “Brother.”Will try to find it on the web. Actually, the only version I’ve ever heard was that of my friend’s grandfather! But, he had a beautiful voice. And he wrote out the lyrics for me.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Doug,Yes, reflection is good. Meditating has made it easier for me, but it is still difficult.Farnaz

  • Arminius2

    Persiflage,There have been times when I thought that Woodie Guthrie’s ‘This Land is Your Land’ should have been the national anthem.His son, Arlo, of course, was gifted as well. Alice’s Restaurant. And also ‘City of New Orleans’, by him, 1972, much ignored except by train freaks such as myself. Joan Baez did a cover of it, and that may have been the only thing she ever failed totally at. Arlo had the rhythm of trains perfectly melded into that song. I know – I rode those trains when I was young.

  • Arminius2

    Well, thanks, Farnaz. Occasionally, when something big kicks me in the arse, I can get motivated and shine a small light out of my normal unsung spot in the vast mob of Hoi Polloi.

  • persiflage

    Arminius – all praise for your song writing skills! Watching an episode of House tonight, one of his residents had the Huntington gene and she refused to be tested – this is what killed Woody Guthrie – Huntington’s Chorea. Quite a few years back, both Arlo and his sister were tested and came back negative….imagine having that hanging over your head and still managing to write Alice’s Restaurant, much less performing in the early years with such an engaging enthusiasm! A little known fact – he did get a big hit out of The City of New Orleans, but this tune was written by Steve Goodman of Chicago – a terrific performer, musician and song writer that worked for many years as a solo act and backup guitarist with John Prine (another favorite of mine).Goodman very unfortunately died at an early age of leukemia some years back. Prine himself had a close call with the big C, but managed to pull through and return to performing. I recall seeing a solo Prine live in Chicago at the Earl of Old Town bar, singing ‘Sam Stone’ and many other hits from his first, yet to be produced album – this was around 1970. This particular tune was a true Vietnam protest song about a returning soldier hooked on heroin – you may have heard it. All of my information these days is purely historical as regards music – I’m completely out of touch with any of the popular music written in the last decade – although some of it must have been good!

  • Arminius2

    Hi, Persiflage,Thanks!I did know about Goodman and the ‘City of New Orleans’, so Arlo really did a cover. There is a video on the web for this, but it does not do justice to the original vinyl.Another unknown Viet Nam protest song is CCR’s ‘Run Through the Jungle’. I’m listening to it right now.Current music – I am rather ignorant of this decade’s music. I am somewhat familiar with stuff of the 80’s and 90’s.Oh, God, memory is working on me. Another glorious and terribly bitter protest song: CSNY’s ‘Four Dead in Ohio’.

  • persiflage

    Arminius – well, it’s been a weekend to remember ….It’s good to see that some of the old timers from the 1960’s are still out there doing it – the likes of John Fogerty, John Prine, Neal Young, and a few others we failed to mention. And the Cat is back! Have a good one!!

  • persiflage

    Arminius – well, it’s been a weekend to remember ….It’s good to see that some of the old timers from the 1960’s are still out there doing it – the likes of John Fogerty, John Prine, Neal Young, and a few others we failed to mention. And the Cat is back! Have a good one!!

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    CSNY’s ‘Four Dead in Ohio’. Yes, indeed. The Kent State Massacre. Of this, I know.

  • Arminius2

    CSNY’s ‘Four Dead in Ohio’ is something of a horse of a different color. One can read the lyrics of ‘Vietnam Rag’ and understand it perfectly without hearing it. Not so with ‘Four Dead in Ohio’, the lyrics are rather meaningless without the music. Something to be learned there – when you hear that song, totally driven by Young, it will rip out your heart and stomp it flat.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Arminius,I actually have heard it. My mother was in New York, in May 1970, received her doctorate here. She has the album.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Walter,Yours truly doesn’t know the Hendrix song you mention. Only one I know is “Foxy Lady.”

  • Arminius2

    Walter,I don’t think that Hendrix’s incredible rendition of our national anthem was a protest. If anything, it was upward evolution in action. Yes, of course, the establishment must have been horrified. Their problem.Link for it here, and Jimi goes into Purple Haze too!

  • TZiggy

    Walter-in-Fallschurch:”How can you be sure?”All I can do is give you a 50,000 foot view of my conclusion. “IF” there is a God, and he created us, he did not make truth subjective (a yearlong study in itself). “IF” Christianity is real (another study given all non-Christian religions), Christ didn’t incarnate to create 1000 different Christian denominations all splitting and fracturing over doctrinal differences. “IF” there is a “true” religion then it has existed in some way shape or form from the beginning.Our world view is VERY limited. We are born, live and die within an 80 year span (give or take). What seems a “hot” religious issue in this day and age may not have existed 30 years ago, 80 years ago, 1000 years ago. The Catholic Church doesn’t bow to social pressures. As I said before, I had decided that truth is not subjective. Once I started seeing this, I picked the Catholic teaching I hated most and studied it. Birth Control. I could go on and on here. Suffice it to say I decided to live ALL of the Church’s teachings (and had two children I had previously decided not to have). And the rest will be available in paperback sometime in 2010… As for many paths?? They all join where truth prevails. How we get there is not ours to question.

  • Arminius2

    Farnaz,Your education level greatly exceeds mine, but you have a gaping hole here. Jimi Hendrix was the greatest electric guitar player ever. Repeat, ever. Again, EVER.Link for Star Spangled Banner:Here is a link to Hendrix’s best, ‘All Along the Watchtower’. This is the studio sound, the best, but no video. This is a cover of Bob Dylan’s song, and Dylan freely admitted that Hendrix did it better.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    TZiggy,

  • Arminius2

    TZiggy,Many paths – yes, and they join on top of that Mountain where truth prevails.But is it not our choice to choose our path? I did. I did have some help, though…

  • YourAffectionateUncle

    “Please ignore the evil uncle. He is looking for an opening for a backstab.”My dearest “Arminius” your charming backstabbing namesake must have seemed evil indeed to Publius Quinctilius Varus. Most esteemed Arminius, trusted adviser to Varus, is well loved among Us here Below because of his backstabbing, lying, ambushing, massacring ways.As a literary allusion, at least I am straight forward and direct.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Hi Walter,Thanks very much for the links! I get the feeling I’m really in for something here!Farnaz

  • TZiggy

    Arminius2:You don’t choose when you are bornAll you choose is how you choose to walk the path you’ve been put on. To judge is arrogant and presumptuous

  • Arminius2

    TZiggy,Predestination is a crock. I was given a choice. I chose. I am on my path. You are free to wander in your circles as you see fit.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Did the Romans ever just sit around and have a quiet chat? About mundane things. Like what to eat for dinner. What do do about Nero’s torturing cats? What instrument Augusta seemed most adept at? How to find a music teacher who wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg (figuratively speaking)?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Uncle,I have to tell you this Varus was a nasty piece of work, crucifying 2,000 Jews, etc.Not one I’d like to have over for dinner. His image on a coin looks demented. But then again, a lot of us don’t come out well in engravings.

  • Nevermore531

    Ziggy,I have nor problem with your beliefs. I chose not to believe the same things you do and I hope that is OK with you! I guess what I have a problem with is people who indoctrinate their children to the point where they are unable to chose. Such is a sad thing and I have seen it in my own family. My little niece is a headstrong little stinker, yet she is forced to recite the Lord’s prayer and the Ave Marias every night. She is only four years old! That I find sad indeed! At least my parents were cool enough to let us kids chose.

  • AMDG619

    Way to go Ms. Jacoby! You really have those Catholics figured out. I mean who do these people think they are? They spend most their time opening and running hospitals, hospices, adoption agencies, nursing homes, retirement centers, education facilities for the disabled, shelters for battered women, homeless shelters, job training facilities, inner city high schools that get Catholic but more often non-Catholic kids to colleges at a much higher rate than public schools with the same demographics. They spend more money on AIDS care than any organization in the world. They have this reactionary organization called St. Vincent de Paul that spends millions clothing and feeding the poor or just paying the utilities bills of people, often non-Catholic, going through tough times. Then I read that a lot of these facilities, including the hospitals, are run by women and have been run by women long before their secular counterparts. Where they have found these dupes I don’t know. Even their women’s colleges are run by actual women (puppets and pawns of those old men in Vatican, I’m sure) These colleges had female presidents 100 years before Smith and Mills. Oh, those crafty Catholics. But they’re not content to sully the purity of Reason on our shores. Cathoic Relief Servies and Catholic World Mission are first responders in world crises and disasters. They rebuild homes, schools, and businesses, provide money and jobs all in an attempt to spread Catholic lies farther afield, no doubt.Let’s not be fooled by this type of cheap public relations ploy. What is the real reason for their incalculable largesse in every type of charity? They do it merely to irritate atheists.Thanks for your clear headed, non-biased, non-dogmatic, not in the least way shrill bit of truth telling.

  • Nevermore531

    Persiflage,”older does not mean wiser.” True, but older does mean more experienced. I have seen things in my life that my children will hopefully not experience. Did I get wiser, not necessarily, but I got more tolerant of people whom I not necessarily agree with.Except of course the sort that call me names like a Nazi or a “stinking C*nt”. Yet even there I forgive because they don’t know any better.Such is the beauty of Bhuddism!

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    AMDG619,

  • Doug_White

    THE PHANTOM SHIP

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Part IIAt this point, we may be talking past each other. If so, I think dropping the matter for now would be salutary.Here is my original post to you:Context, DITLD, is everything:”All ruled, top down, by a an effeminate old gentleman, who is obviously gay, and who doe not have a clue about human nature and human sexuality.”Know many gay men. Some are what you might call “effeminate,” others not. Polemics is one thing, a strategy for use with bigots, when all else fails. Otherwise, we risk indulging bigotry, ourselves.Religion and politics? The current question does not concern this topic, which is not about religion in the public, i.e., legislative, sphere. To raise secular issues in which the RCC should not be involved is not germaine to the question.This is not to say that the intrusion of organized religions into secular life should not be addressed vigorously on this blog. But then we could not consider the RCC, alone. Fundies, who are trying to end choice, stop gay marriage, thwart stem cell research, would also have to be addressed.They are Protestant, if I’m not mistaken.But, again, the RCC, is not alone in such affronts to human decency.Posted by: Farnaz1Mansouri1 |

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    DITLD:Thanks for the post.Again, I did not say that you were either “homophobic” or a “Catholic basher.” Whether or not Pope Benedict is gay is a matter no one can know if we are to judge by his appearance.What straight people perceive as ‘effeminacy” in men does not indicate whether or not those men are gay. Perceived “effeminate” men are just as likely to be straight. The point of my post, UKBA’s and Doug White’s focused largely on this matter.MOreover, the RCC has yet to make a statement about perceived effeminacy in men. This is not the first time you have been critical of the Catholic Church, not the first time you brought up your perception of the Pope’s gayness, etc. Criticism of the RCC’s politics as it effects the rest of us is a fair topic for discussion by everyone. The same is true of every other religious institution. Even in such discussions, however, openness to different views, reason, facts are very important.HOwever, the current question concerns celibacy in the Priesthood, not Politics and the RCC, a subject that would be far more fitting for this blog.I’m not going to get into a discussion with you about my views on gayness. I have been, on this blog, passionately outspoken about the rights of gays to full citizenship, protested in the strongest terms against comments abusive of gays. Ad homs are, in any case, as beside the point as the Pope’s perceived effeminicy.Frankly, I don’t know how much clearer I can be. You have mixed several matters together, not as critically as one would like, for the most part, don’t seem to wish to reflect on the possibilty that, perhaps, they should be dealt with separately. That is the main point, Daniel, perhaps, best expressed in my first post on this matter.Note, especially, the point on polemics and strategy. Polemics, especially, harshly expressed, are the strategy of last resort.As for whether or not Catholic celibacy is a matter for all to discuss, if it is, then why won’t we also discuss marriage in the ministry or rabbinate.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    SongWhere has Onofrio goneWhere have all the Pagans goneApologies to Pete Seeger, J. Hickerson, PPM, Joan Baez, Marlene Dietrich (first to sing it in French), and to all other persons.

  • TZiggy

    Arminius2Predestination IS a crock. You misunderstood me. I don’t judge the path you take, as I don’t understand WHERE you got on that path and how you got there. I believe God is the destination and ultimately there is only one path to get you there. How you find your way to that path and where you are in your journey is not for me to judge.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    FarnazIn the past, you called a poster “gay” because you were angry with him, and you repeated this intended “slur” over and over. If you did not do this, then it was someone else posing as you. I never call anyone gay as a slur, because I do not think there is anything wrong with being gay. You are very mistaken about my meaning and motivations. I have ZERO interest in knowing who is gay and who is not. I do not judge effeminate men as being “gay.” It is the homophobic people who assign this label of “gay” or worse “f_g” to anyone whose behavior is suspect. It is the Catholic gay-bshers who are particularly hung up on this.You just read a line or two of my comment and then ignore all the rest. I got off on this tangent becsuse some Catholic posters indignently denied that anyone has the right to criticize the Catholic Church. Well, I contradict that for the very simple reason that the Catholic Church promotes a very mean and intolerant homophobia. Accepting it, tolerating it, and going along with it is to agree with it. I do not. If Catholics do not want to be “bashed,” then they can stop bashing others. If the “effeminate” Pope does not want matters of his own sexual orientaiton to be discussed by serious people and not as a slur, then he also can let the whole issue go, that gay people are intrinsically disoredered.Catholic theologians have a whole complicated theological reason for regarding gay people as “intrinsically disordered” and claiem refuge for this opinion because it is their religious belief. I say, “BUNK!!!” (And I only say that to be kind and print-worthy). Forgive me if that makes me a “Catholic basher.”Homophobic people are the ones who revile and despise effeminate men, and even worse, little boys. I personally love effeminate men and effiminate boys even more, because they are the ones who take the beatings of the Catholic bullies, and also, by the way, of the Protestant bullies. From the homophobic point of view, it is safer and more wise to seek out effeminate men, and beat up on them. That is why I am pointing out “the Pope’s” own effeminacy, because he is the leader of a huge and powerful organiztion that promote beating up on effeminate men. You are not understanding my main points, at all, but merely focusing on minor points, which you are interpreting incorrectly.I am trying to be clear, but I do not know how much clearer I can be. If you do not think there is anything wrong with being gay, then in the future, please refrain from using “gay” as an accusatory slur towards people that you don’t like.And if those comments were made by some other person posing as you, then my apologies for my misunderstanings.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    FarnazIn the past, you called a poster “gay” because you were angry with him, and you repeated this intended “slur” over and over. If you did not do this, then it was someone else posing as you. I never call anyone gay as a slur, because I do not think there is anything wrong with being gay. You are very mistaken about my meaning and motivations. I have ZERO interest in knowing who is gay and who is not. I do not judge effeminate men as being “gay.” It is the homophobic people who assign this label of “gay” or worse “f_g” to anyone whose behavior is suspect. It is the Catholic gay-bshers who are particularly hung up on this.You just read a line or two of my comment and then ignore all the rest. I got off on this tangent becsuse some Catholic posters indignently denied that anyone has the right to criticize the Catholic Church. Well, I contradict that for the very simple reason that the Catholic Church promotes a very mean and intolerant homophobia. Accepting it, tolerating it, and going along with it is to agree with it. I do not. If Catholics do not want to be “bashed,” then they can stop bashing others. If the “effeminate” Pope does not want matters of his own sexual orientaiton to be discussed by serious people and not as a slur, then he also can let the whole issue go, that gay people are intrinsically disoredered.Catholic theologians have a whole complicated theological reason for regarding gay people as “intrinsically disordered” and claiem refuge for this opinion because it is their religious belief. I say, “BUNK!!!” (And I only say that to be kind and print-worthy). Forgive me if that makes me a “Catholic basher.”Homophobic people are the ones who revile and despise effeminate men, and even worse, little boys. I personally love effeminate men and effiminate boys even more, because they are the ones who take the beatings of the Catholic bullies, and also, by the way, of the Protestant bullies. From the homophobic point of view, it is safer and more wise to seek out effeminate men, and beat up on them. That is why I am pointing out “the Pope’s” own effeminacy, because he is the leader of a huge and powerful organiztion that promote beating up on effeminate men. You are not understanding my main points, at all, but merely focusing on minor points, which you are interpreting incorrectly.I am trying to be clear, but I do not know how much clearer I can be. If you do not think there is anything wrong with being gay, then in the future, please refrain from using “gay” as an accusatory slur towards people that you don’t like.And if those comments were made by some other person posing as you, then my apologies for my misunderstanings.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Yes, well, Varus, you did say you were writing from “below.”

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    farnaz,…what do you think of the notion that “yahweh” and “el/elohim” (plural?) were two gods merged into one?what do you think about the documentary hypothesis? just the basic conclusions – i understand there are of course places where they stretch things.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Walter,I find the documentary hypothesis convincing. Am especially interested in R.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    farnaz,i understand “elohim” is plural. any significance to the fact that it should read, “in the beginning GODS created heaven and earth.”?